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Derivation of genetic biomarkers for cancer risk stratification in Barrett’s oesophagus: a prospective cohort study


Objective The risk of developing adenocarcinoma in non-dysplastic Barrett's oesophagus is low and difficult to predict. Accurate tools for risk stratification are needed to increase the efficiency of surveillance. We aimed to develop a prediction model for progression using clinical variables and genetic markers.

Methods In a prospective cohort of patients with non-dysplastic Barrett's oesophagus, we evaluated six molecular markers: p16, p53, Her-2/neu, 20q, MYC and aneusomy by DNA fluorescence in situ hybridisation on brush cytology specimens. Primary study outcomes were the development of high-grade dysplasia or oesophageal adenocarcinoma. The most predictive clinical variables and markers were determined using Cox proportional-hazards models, receiver operating characteristic curves and a leave-one-out analysis.

Results A total of 428 patients participated (345 men; median age 60 years) with a cumulative follow-up of 2019 patient-years (median 45 months per patient). Of these patients, 22 progressed; nine developed high-grade dysplasia and 13 oesophageal adenocarcinoma. The clinical variables, age and circumferential Barrett's length, and the markers, p16 loss, MYC gain and aneusomy, were significantly associated with progression on univariate analysis. We defined an ‘Abnormal Marker Count’ that counted abnormalities in p16, MYC and aneusomy, which significantly improved risk prediction beyond using just age and Barrett's length. In multivariate analysis, these three factors identified a high-risk group with an 8.7-fold (95% CI 2.6 to 29.8) increased HR when compared with the low-risk group, with an area under the curve of 0.76 (95% CI 0.66 to 0.86).

Conclusions A prediction model based on age, Barrett's length and the markers p16, MYC and aneusomy determines progression risk in non-dysplastic Barrett's oesophagus.


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