We offer multiple techniques to endoscopically treat Barrett’s esophagus, including:
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
A non-surgical treatment pioneered at Roswell Park, PDT uses a light sensitive-drug that concentrates in cancer cells. The drug causes cancer cells to die when activated by specific wavelengths (colors) of light, applied with a laser beam. The primary side effect is temporary skin sensitivity to light (lasting 4 to 6 weeks) and pain after the laser treatment. PDT treatment can be repeated as necessary.
The Photodynamic Therapy Center at Roswell Park is a worldwide leader in using PDT to treat cancers of the skin, mouth, larynx, esophagus, head, neck, lung, breast and some gynecological cancers.
New light-sensitive compounds have been developed by Roswell Park researchers for use in PDT treatment. One agent, called HPPH or Photochlor, results in a far shorter duration, only 7-14 days, of the light-sensitivity side effect. Photochlor is currently being evaluated in clinical trials at Roswell Park for use in lung, head and neck cancers.
Endoscopic mucosal resection
A minimally-invasive surgical procedure to remove superficial abnormal lesions or tissue. The procedure involves lifting the Barrett’s lining and injecting a solution underneath or applying suction, and cutting the lining off, which is then removed with an endoscope.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
Uses radio waves to heat the abnormal tissue and kill precancerous or cancerous cells.
Continuing research on Barrett’s esophagus
Roswell Park scientists are currently studying the genetics of the disease to identify markers or other signs that may predict whether Barrett’s esophagus will progress to a cancerous condition.