Journal Article Recent Advances from Basic and Clinical Studies of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Ohashi, Shinya  ,  Miyamoto, Shin'Ichi  ,  Kikuchi, Osamu  ,  Goto, Tomoyuki  ,  Amanuma, Yusuke  ,  Muto, Manabu

149 ( 7 )  , pp.1700 - 1715 , 2015-12 , Elsevier B.V.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most aggressive squamous cell carcinomas and is highly prevalent in Asia. Alcohol and its metabolite, acetaldehyde, are considered definite carcinogens for the esophagus. Polymorphisms in the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 gene, which encodes an enzyme that eliminates acetaldehyde, have been associated with esophageal carcinogenesis. Studies of the mutagenic and carcinogenic effects of acetaldehyde support this observation. Several recent large-scale comprehensive analyses of the genomic alterations in ESCC have shown a high frequency of mutations in genes such as TP53 and others that regulate the cell cycle or cell differentiation. Moreover, whole genome and whole exome sequencing studies have frequently detected somatic mutations, such as G:C→A:T transitions or G:C→C:G transversions, in ESCC tissues. Genomic instability, caused by abnormalities in the Fanconi anemia DNA repair pathway, is also considered a pathogenic mechanism of ESCC. Advances in diagnostic techniques such as magnifying endoscopy with narrow band imaging or positron emission tomography have increased the accuracy of diagnosis of ESCC. Updated guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network standardize the practice for the diagnosis and treatment of esophageal cancer. Patients with ESCC are treated endoscopically or with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, based on tumor stage. Minimally invasive treatments help improve the quality of life of patients who undergo such treatments. We review recent developments in the diagnosis and treatment of ESCC and advances gained from basic and clinical research.

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