Evidence for Enhanced Telomerase Activity in Barrett’sEsophagus with Dysplasia and Adenocarcinoma


Background: Dysplasia and adenocarcinoma developing in Barrett’s esophagus (BE) are not alwaysendoscopically identifiable. Molecular markers are needed for early recognition of these focal lesions and toidentify patients at increased risk of developing adenocarcinoma. The aim of the current study was to correlateincreased telomerase activity (TA) with dysplasia and adenocarcinoma occurring in the setting of BE. Materialsand
Methods: Esophageal mucosal biopsies were obtained from patients (N=62) who had pathologically verifiedBE at esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). Mucosal biopsies were also obtained from the gastric fundus ascontrols. Based on histopathology, patients were divided into three groups: 1) BE without dysplasia (n=24);2) BE with dysplasia (both high grade and low grade, n=13); and 3) BE with adenocarcinoma (n=25). TAwas measured by a PCR-based assay (TRAPeze® ELISA Telomerase Detection Kit). Statistical analyses wereperformed using one-way ANOVA and post-hoc Bonferroni testing.
Results: TA was significantly higher inbiopsies of BE with dyplasia and BE with adenocarcinoma than in BE without dysplasia. Subgroup analysesdid not reveal any significant correlations between TA and patient age, length of BE, or presence of gastritis.
Conclusions: Telomerase activity in esophageal mucosal biopsies of BE may constitute a useful biomarker forthe early detection of esophageal dysplasia and adenocarcinoma.