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Research advances in esophageal diseases: bench to bedside

Authors
Journal
F1000Prime Reports
2051-7599
Publisher
"Faculty of 1000, Ltd."
Publication Date
Volume
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.12703/p5-44
Keywords
  • Review Article
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Over the last year, significant steps have been made toward understanding the pathogenesis of esophageal diseases and translating this knowledge to clinical practice. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common outpatient diagnosis in gastroenterology and has a high prevalence in the general population. As many as 40% of patients with GERD have incomplete response to medical therapy, and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying lack of response are now better understood. Novel medical and minimally invasive interventions are available to optimize management of GERD. Esophageal cancer, regardless of the histological subtype, has among the worst survival statistics among all malignancies. Taking advantage of technological advances in genome sequencing, the mutational spectra in esophageal cancer are now emerging, offering novel avenues for targeted therapies. Early diagnosis is another strand for improving survival. While genome-wide association studies are providing insights into genetic susceptibility, novel approaches to early detection of cancer are being devised through the use of biomarkers applied to esophageal samples and as part of imaging technologies. Dysmotility and eosinophilic esophagitis are the differential diagnoses in patients with dysphagia. New pathophysiological classifications have improved the management of motility disorders. Meanwhile, exciting progress has been made in the endoscopic management of these conditions. Eosinophilic esophagitis is still a relatively new entity, and the pathogenesis remains poorly understood. However, it is now clear that an allergic reaction to food plays an important role, and dietary interventions as well as biologic agents to block the inflammatory cascade are novel, promising fields of clinical research.

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