NcoI TNF-beta gene polymorphism and TNF expression are associated with an increased risk of developing Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma

V Menke, KPM van Zoest, Leon Moons, Bettina Hansen, RGJ Pot, PD (Peter) Siersema, JG (Johannes) Kusters, Ernst Kuipers

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Objective. Esophageal cancer development is a sequence that starts with reflux esophagitis (RE), followed by Barrett's esophagitis (BE), dysplasia, and finally esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a potent antineoplastic agent, hence DNA polymorphisms that reduce TNF levels potentially enhance the development of BE and EAC. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of TNF gene variation on the RE-BE-EAC cascade. Methods. DNA from 887 Caucasian participants (197 controls, 305 RE, 257 BE, 128 EAC) was tested for the gene polymorphism TNF-beta NcoI, and TNF production was determined by TNF-alpha specific immunohistochemistry on esophageal biopsies from these BE (n = 31) and EAC (n = 4) patients. Results. As compared with healthy controls, the TNF-beta NcoI A/A genotype was significantly more prevalent in BE (p = 0.04) and EAC patients (p = 0.02), but not in RE patients (p = 0.1). While TNF-alpha protein levels were invariably high in esophageal biopsies from EAC patients, most esophageal BE samples showed low to moderate TNF levels. Conclusions. Chronic inflammation, like in BE, markedly increase the risk of malignant transformation. In this study, the significantly higher frequency of the TNF-beta NcoI A/A genotype and the local TNF expression indicate that the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF plays a role in the development of BE and EAC.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)378-386
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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  • EMC MM-04-20-01

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