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 RPCI 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 RPCI 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: RPCI 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.