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Gastroenterology - Barrett's Esophagus

Houston, Texas

A BCM research lab.
Barrett's Esophagus Center
not shown on screen

Research Projects

Our group is currently conducting several studies that can be grouped under several major headings.

Risk factors for Barrett’s esophagus

We are conducting a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health to evaluate several suspected risk factors for Barrett's esophagus. These potential risk factors include obesity especially abdominal obesity, several medications, and dietary factors. The study entails comparison of 300 patients with Barrett's esophagus with several thousand control subjects with Barrett's esophagus.

Genetic determinants of Barrett’s esophagus

We are conducting a study partly funded by the Helis Foundation to examine potential genetic factors that may predispose to the formation of Barrett's esophagus. The candidate genes we will examine include genes that control insulin resistance, obesity, and inflammation.

Endoscopic ablation of Barrett’s esophagus

In the ablation studies, we are enrolling patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus. Patients are offered a novel therapy which is a catheter-based ablation of the abnormal Barrett’s epithelium using radiofrequency energy (BARRX). Patients are followed up systematically to examine the response rates as well as long-term outcomes post ablation. Such studies will provide objective information about the effectiveness and side effects of the ablation therapy.

Other studies

We are also conducting several studies involving the definition, mechanisms, pathogenesis and treatment of reflux disease and Barrett's metaplasia, identification of potential treatment targets, predictors of treatment response, and predictors of survival (of patients with cancer).

For more information on Barrett's-related studies

Please contact us at 713-798-0950.

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