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Endoscopic radiofrequency ablation deemed to have significant clinical utility in the treatment of patients with all clinical stages of Barrett's esophagus BARRX Medical Inc., a leader in the development of minimally invasive medical devices designed to remove precancerous tissue from within the gastrointestinal tract, reported today that the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) has issued a new practice guideline for the surgical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Left untreated, reflux of stomach contents such as acid and bile into the esophagus in GERD patients often leads to injury and chronic inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. A significant proportion of GERD patients are thus predisposed to developing precancerous changes within the esophageal lining, a condition called Barrett's esophagus, which can lead to esophageal adenocarcinoma. In addition to providing recommendations for the surgical management of GERD, the new SAGES guideline presents a number of evidence-based recommendations for the management of Barrett's osophagus when it develops in these patients.
The authors of the SAGES practice guideline provided a series of systematically developed recommendations related to the management of GERD and Barrett's esophagus based upon a
rigorous review of all relevant published scientific studies. Specific to the management of Barrett's esophagus, the practice guideline deemed that patients with the most advanced stages of Barrett's esophagus (high-grade dysplasia and intramucosal cancer) may be treated with endoscopic therapy inclusive of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and/or endoscopic mucosal resection. Surgery remains an option for these patients as salvage or primary therapy. For Barrett's patients with earlier stages of disease (non-dysplastic and low-grade dysplasia), the practice guideline states that "RFA has been shown to be safe, clinically effective, and cost-effective in these disease states."
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