Study finds Barrett’s cancer risk low

EXPENSIVE endoscopic screening of patients with Barrett’s oesophagus may be unnecessary, experts say, based on findings from one of the largest population studies on the risk of developing malignancy.

A seven-year study of 8552 Irish patients with Barrett’s oesophagus showed the incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma was 0.22% per year for the entire cohort and 0.38% per year in patients with intestinal metaplasia.

Men, with a 0.28% risk per year, were more than twice as likely to develop adenocarcinoma as women, and older patients had a higher risk than younger patients.

The researchers recommended a targeted approach to screening based on individual risk to contain high screening cost.

Associate Professor Geoff Hebbard, director of gastroenterology at Royal Melbourne Hospital, said more personalised recommendations for surveillance were warranted. 

“I think there’s a significant issue about