Categorizing Risks within Barrett's Esophagus To Guide Surveillance and Interception; Suggesting a New Framework.
Barrett's esophagus is a precancerous condition that can progress in a stepwise manner to dysplasia and eventually esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Once diagnosed, patients with Barrett's esophagus are kept on surveillance to detect progression so that timely intervention can occur with endoscopic therapy. Several demographic and clinical risk factors are known to increase progression toward EAC, such as longer Barrett's segments, and these patients are kept on tighter surveillance. While p53 IHC has been advocated as an adjunct to histopathologic diagnosis, use of this biomarker is variable, and no other molecular factors are currently applied. Given the new evidence available, it is time to consider whether other risk factors or tools could be applied in clinical practice to decide on closer or attenuated surveillance. In this commentary, we summarize the most relevant risk factors for Barrett's esophagus progression, highlight the most promising novel risk stratification tools-including nonendoscopic triage and commercial biomarker panels, and propose a new framework suggesting how to incorporate risk stratification into clinical practice.