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Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Nov;106(11):1930-2. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2011.288.

Non-acid reflux: the missing link between gastric atrophy and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma?


Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common incident cancer in the world and, due to the poor survival rate it confers, ranks sixth among all cancers in mortality. In developed countries of the western world, the incidence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) has undergone a decline and adenocarcinoma now constitutes approximately half of all esophageal cancers. In these relatively low-risk areas, tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption account for ~90% of ESCC cases. Eastern countries have much higher incidences of ESCC and epidemiologic evidence would suggest that there are additional unknown causal mechanisms. Gastric atrophy has consistently been associated with ESCC, but its causal relevance has been questioned. In this issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Uno et al. offer evidence that a causal link between these two entities is non-acid reflux.

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