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History of cancer in first degree relatives of Barrett's esophagus patients: a case-control study.

De Ceglie A, Filiberti R, Blanchi S, Fontana V, Fisher DA, Grossi E, Lacchin T, De Matthaeis M, Ignomirelli O, Cappiello R, Casa DD, Foti M, Laterza F, Rosati R, Annese V, Iaquinto G, Conio M. History of cancer in first degree relatives of Barrett's esophagus patients: a case-control study. Clinics and research in hepatology and gastroenterology. 2011 Dec 1; 35(12):831-8.

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Familial clusters of Barrett's esophagus (BE) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) have been reported. This study evaluates the history of cancer in BE patients families. METHODS: In two years, patients with BE (272), esophagitis (456) and controls (517) were recruited in 12 Italian Endoscopy Units. Cancer family history in first-degree (FD) relatives was determined by a questionnaire. RESULTS: Approximately 53% of BE, 51% of esophagitis, and 48% of controls had at least one relative affected by any type of malignancy. Probands with at least one esophageal or gastric (E/G) cancer-affected relative showed a BE risk which was at least eighty-five percent higher than that of probands without affected relatives. The relative risk of BE was 4.18, 95% CL = 0.76-23.04 if a FD relative had early (mean age = 50 years) onset E/G cancer compared to late onset E/G cancer. CONCLUSION: In this sample there was no evidence that a family history of cancer was associated with the diagnosis of BE. An intriguing result was the association between the occurrence of E/G cancers at earlier ages ( < 50 years) among BE relatives with respect the control group. This could suggest a genetic contribution in onset of these tumors, but the sample was too small to demonstrate a significant association. Further exploration of family history of E/G cancer and a diagnosis of BE in larger samples is warranted.

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