Endoscopic surveillance also was associated with modest improvements in all-cause and cancer-specific mortality, said, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., with his associates. The Barrett’s esophagus community “eagerly” await results from the multicenter, randomized (Barrett’s Oesophagus Surveillance versus endoscopy at need Study), the reviewers wrote in the June issue of .
Guidelines recommend endoscopic surveillance of patients with Barrett’s esophagus, but it is unclear whether this practice improves survival. Hence, the reviewers searched databases such as Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, and Scopus for studies published since 1996 that evaluated outcomes of endoscopic surveillance in Barrett’s esophagus. Eligible studies included a case-control study of a large hospital database in northern California, 6 retrospective cohort studies of endoscopic Barrett’s esophagus surveillance, and 11 prospective and retrospective studies comparing patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) with and without a history of Barrett’s esophagus.
The case-control study found no link between endoscopic surveillance and improved survival in Barrett’s esophagus, said the reviewers. However, the retrospective cohort studies linked regular Barrett’s esophagus endoscopic surveillance with a 40% lower risk of death from EAC, compared with incomplete or no endoscopic surveillance, which was statistically significant (risk ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval, 0.50-0.71). Individual results of these studies also were consistent with the results of their meta-analysis. A separate meta-analysis of the remaining studies also linked endoscopic surveillance with a significantly lower risk of EAC-related mortality (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.57-0.94), but these studies had substantial heterogeneity, the investigators said.
Meta-analyses also supported endoscopic surveillance for earlier detection of EAC. Unadjusted data from four studies indicated that Barrett’s esophagus surveillance helped detect EAC while it was still early stage (stage 0 or 1) rather than later stage (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1-4.1). Similarly, patients who had already been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus were significantly more likely to present with early-stage EAC (RR, 5.5; 95% CI, 3.7-8.2). In contrast, enrollment in a Barrett’s esophagus surveillance program did not appear to affect the likelihood of esophagectomy.
Additional meta-analyses suggested that endoscopic surveillance of Barrett’s esophagus might confer a “potentially small” overall survival benefit, the reviewers said. A meta-analysis of adjusted data from three studies linked surveillance with a 25% reduction in risk of all-cause mortality, compared with no surveillance (hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.58-0.94). Having a prior Barrett’s esophagus diagnosis also was associated with a 52% decrease in all-cause mortality, compared with having symptomatic cancer (RR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.37-0.63) in a meta-analysis of unadjusted data from 12 studies. Five studies with adjusted data linked a prior Barrett’s esophagus diagnosis with a 41% lower risk of all-cause mortality (HR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.45-0.76). However, individual findings varied substantially, and adjusting for lead time “almost eliminated this overall survival benefit,” the reviewers said.
The National Institutes of Health and a Public Health Service Award supported the study. Dr. Codipilly reported having no conflicts of interest. Five coinvestigators disclosed ties to Exact Sciences, C2 Therapeutics, and other companies.
SOURCE: Codipilly DC et al. Gastroenterology. 2018 Feb 17..