Local treatment of early cancer in short Barrett's esophagus by means of argon plasma coagulation: initial experience.

Research paper by A A May, L L Gossner, E E Günter, M M Stolte, C C Ell

Indexed on: 24 Sep '99Published on: 24 Sep '99Published in: Endoscopy


In recent years endoscopically controlled local therapeutic methods, such as photodynamic therapy, mucosectomy, or laser therapy, have been used with a curative aim for the destruction of early esophageal or gastric cancers. We report on our experience of treating histologically proven mucosal cancer in Barrett's esophagus with argon plasma coagulation (APC), in three patients. All the mucosal esophageal cancers, with a mean diameter of 4 mm, were successfully destroyed after one or two treatment sessions. Additionally, in two of the three patients the specialized columnar epithelium was replaced by normal squamous cell epithelium when APC treatment was combined with omeprazole. In the third patient with Barrett's esophagus, a partial squamous cell re-epithelialization was induced. No method-related mortality and morbidity were observed. During the mean follow-up of 24.3 +/- 1.1 months (range 23-25 months) one tumor recurrence developed which was successfully treated with photodynamic therapy. In patients with small early Barrett's carcinoma APC might offer an effective, minimally invasive alternative to mucosectomy or photodynamic therapy, as the treatment procedure is less cumbersome and the equipment less expensive.