LINACRE trial.

The Oxford Clinical Trials Unit are applying for funding for an exciting new clinical trial for patients with Barrett’s Oesophagus. Barrett’s Oesophagus is currently treated with life-long medication to reduce the risk of developing oesophageal cancer. This trial will give patients at various centres in the UK the opportunity to be randomised (by chance) to an alternative treatment or continue long-term medication. The alternative treatment is a day case surgical procedure using key hole surgery to place a LINX device around the oesophagus. The LINX device is used to prevent acid reflux entering into the oesophagus and may reduce symptoms and the requirement for long-term medication. Both groups of patients will be required to be available for follow up appointments, either in person or by telephone/email and to complete questionnaires. It is hoped that the LINX device may provide an alternative strategy in the prevention of oesophageal cancer that is more acceptable to patients.

See this page on Heartburn Cancer UK website if you wish to know more.

What is known so far: Anti-Reflux Surgery may be as effective as PPIs in reducing risk of mutation of Barrett's cells to cancer.

LINX is an alternative to Nissen Fundoplication Anti-Reflux Surgery.

We have established a temporary page with links to some relevant research, here.

Read about LINX in our Down With Acid encyclopaedia, here.

Wales gains RFA

Following much hard work from our Barrett's Wales team, the first Radio Frequency Abaltion in Wales was performed by Dr Hassan Haboubi at Llandough hospital at the beginning of July 2020.

See Barrett's Wales website for more information.

Barrett's Wessex specific

Significant news about the charity, for instance details of Annual General Meeting, may appear here. Other Barrett's Wessex news will appear from time to time on our Facebook page:

In the papers

Some recent relevant news stories from popular media will appear here in case you missed them.

30 March 2021 Early detection of cancer helped to save Tom’s life

"In my case early diagnosis enabled me to have successful surgery and a complete recovery,” he said.

It is because he made a complete recovery that he wanted to help the charity OG Cancer NI with their awareness campaign. “In terms of the campaign I think it is important because it raises awareness of the symptoms and the importance of catching it early,” he added.

More than 400 people per year were diagnosed with oesophageal and stomach cancer prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and OG Cancer NI, chair, Helen Setterfield, feels it is now more important as ever to make sure that anyone worried seeks help.

“You should not hesitate to make the call if you experience persistent heartburn that doesn’t go away, trouble swallowing, regurgitation or hiccups that do not go away,” she said.

Ulster Star

23 March 2021 Device that can sniff out cancer in seconds: Electronic 'nose' that detects chemicals in breath may help spot early signs of oesophageal tumour

"An electronic ‘nose’ that sniffs out chemicals in breath may help spot early signs of oesophageal cancer, which can be linked to acid reflux. The breathalyser-type device uses sensors to identify patterns of compounds found in breath that are unique to Barrett’s oesophagus, a ‘pre’ condition to the cancer."

(Daily Mail)

See also this chapter in our Down With Acid encyclopaedia.

29 December 2020 Silicone ‘ping pong ball’ implanted in the stomach could help relieve persistent heartburn

"A silicone ball implanted in the stomach could help relieve persistent heartburn. The device, about the size of a ping pong ball, is stitched to the top of the inside of the stomach via keyhole surgery.

In position, the ball presses down on the one-way valve that lets food move from the oesophagus — the food pipe — and into the stomach.

"This stops the valve opening the wrong way and letting acid leak from the stomach back up into the oesophagus, which is common in heartburn patients and causes the ‘burning’ pain." (Daily Mail)

A page about the Reflux Stop is available in the online version of Down With Acid here.

26 December 2020 Scar-free operation that strengthens weak muscles in the oesophagus could banish acid reflux for good "Experts say it [TIF] could soon be available across the NHS following trials showing that nearly nine out of ten patients undergoing the method are free from heartburn symptoms – including chest pain and burning in the throat after eating – at least three years later."

(Daily Mail)

11 December 2020 Cyted: From Cambridge start-up to digital pathology front-runner in one year"Dr O’Donovan said: “We are delighted to be working with UCLH, alongside Medtronic and Pathognomics, to launch the first clinical procedures for the early detection of Barrett’s oesophagus.

“We are excited to bring this technology to patients, which, when paired with our state-of-the-art biomarkers and digital solutions to maximise accuracy and high-throughput delivery, will make a real difference to the earlier detection of oesophageal cancer.” (Cambridge Independent)

3 November 2020 Bake Off's Luis Troyano dead: TV star, 48, passes away from oesophageal cancer a year after he had surgery to remove tumour and thanked doctors for 'giving him more time than seemed possible'

"Great British Bake Off star Luis Troyano has passed away from oesophageal cancer aged 48 following a private battle with the disease.

"His agent, Anne Kibel, shared the sad news on Twitter on Tuesday, as she paid her respects to the 2014 runner-up and marketing manager who hailed from Stockport.

"She wrote: 'Sadly, my lovely client lost his brave fight against Oesophageal cancer last week.

"'A fantastic man with a love of baking that saw him get to the finals of GBBO, write a wonderful book, Bake It Great and do so much more. Always in our thoughts.'" (Daily Mail)

25 October 2020

New 'sponge on a string' test can pick up the earliest signs of oesophageal cancer in at-risk patients

"Patients at risk of oesophageal cancer are being offered a new 'sponge on a string' test to help pick up the earliest signs of the disease – allowing doctors to take steps to prevent it.

"The one-minute procedure, which can be carried out by a GP or a nurse, involves swallowing a pill containing a sponge-like material attached to a piece of thread.

"Once in the stomach, the pill dissolves and the sponge inside expands.

"When it is drawn out, it gently scrapes away cells that line the oesophagus. The cells are then tested for pre-cancerous changes.

"Called the Cytosponge, it offers an alternative to an endoscopy, in which a tube and camera are passed down the throat under local anaesthetic." (Mail Online)

"NHS Forth Valley is set to take part in a national trial using the Cytosponge which is wrapped in a coated pill so that it can easily be ingested with a glass of water. The innovative new procedure has the potential to become a game changer, removing the need for an anaesthetic and can be completed in just minutes."

(Forth Valley Health News)


Links to all relevant research are now no longer updated daily although some newer research links may be added in future.

For students interested in latest research into Barrett's Oesophagus, PubMed is a good starting point.

The archived links can provide a useful facility to the lay researcher.

The files may be opened in a browser and searched for key what you wish to find.

An example looked to settle a dispute over whether it was important not to abstain from alcohol if you have Barrett's Oesophagus.

The search term "Alcohol" was applied to the archived files and found 9 studies indicating alcohol was not connected with Barrett's progression, two suggesting alcohol could actually be beneficial and of 9 studies appearing to show a possible connection, at least 2 were specifically about Squamous Cell Cancer rather than adenocarcinoma and the others only passed on what had previously been suggested.

The fruits of that search may be viewed by clicking on this link.

Research Archive

Since 2012, we have archived links to the abstracts of all relevant research papers published on Barrett's Oesophagus, Acid reflux, etc. which may be downloaded and searched below.

N.B. The full archive is a large file of over 550 pages. We have also archived 2020 links as a separate file of over 100 pages.

Within the archives, some titles that may be of particular interest to patients and lay persons have been highlighted in bold text.

The full 2012 - 2020 (inclusive) archive may be accessed here (552 pages, 4790k).

The 2020 archive may be accessed here (115 pages, 816K).

Update: Relevant 2021 research links have now been archived and accessible below. It will later also be combined with the full 2012 onwards full archive and this page will later be reformatted for easier access.

2021 Research Archive.pdf