Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

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Barrett's oEsophagus STudy 2 (BEST2)

Centre for Cancer Prevention

Project Investigator:  Professor Peter Sasieni


Barrett's oEsophagus (BE) is the main risk factor for cancer of the oesophagus. It is most likely to be diagnosed in people who have a long history of burning indigestion - a sign of acid reflux.

People who are known to have BE are usually seen regularly by a doctor and have regular endoscopies. The aim of the regular endoscopies is to diagnose the cancer at an early treatable stage.

Associations of gastroenterologists worldwide have not recommended screening for BE using endoscopy because of its prohibitive cost. Furthermore, its use would completely overburden endoscopy units nationwide.

The Barrett's oEsophagus Screening Trial (BEST2) is looking at whether a new device called the Cytosponge coupled with a molecular test would offer a suitable alternative to diagnose BE in the general population.

Participants will be asked to swallow the Cytosponge with a small glass of water. The 'capsule' contains a small sponge attached to a piece of string. The gelatine of the capsule dissolves in the stomach and after 5 minutes the 'sponge' is removed by pulling gently on the string. The Cytosponge collects a sample of the cells lining your gullet (oesophagus).

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