Of the estimated 20 percent of Americans who are chronic GERD sufferers, 10 percent to 15 percent will develop Barrett’s esophagus. This premalignant condition increases the risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma, one of the fastest-growing cancers in the U.S. today– and one of the most lethal, with a dismal 15 percent five-year survival rate. In fact, individuals with Barrett’s have a 30 – to 40 -times higher incidence of developing esophageal cancer than those without the condition.
Cooper University Hospital offers the state-of-the-art HALO® System, an advanced radio-frequency ablation (RFA) technology for treating Barrett’s esophagus that removes the Barrett’s epithelium in a short, well-tolerated endoscopic procedure. Cooper offers this non- surgical treatment that has over a 90 percent success rate in eradicating Barrett’s esophagus. “Anyone with a history of Barrett’s should discuss the potential value of RFA treatment with his/her primary care physician or gastroenterologist, particularly those with long- segment Barrett’s – greater than 3 cm – and those who’ve had the condition for years,” advises Cooper gastroenterologist Joshua P. DeSipio, MD . Prior to the availability of RFA, the standard treatment for Barrett’s esophagus was surveillance to monitor the progression of the disease.
“This procedure may be an alternative to watchful waiting for patients who have precancerous findings, such as low- or high-grade dysplasia, whose disease has not yet advanced to the point where surgery is needed,” Dr. DeSipio notes. It may also be considered in select individuals with non-dysplastic Barrett’s who are at increased risk of progression.
“Radio-frequency ablation provides uniform and controlled ablative therapy that not only removes the abnormal cells but also allows for regrowth of normal cells,” Dr. DeSipio says. Performed in an outpatient setting, it generally takes less than 30 minutes. Most patients require two to three treatments.