Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) and BARRX Balloon Ablation
The BARRX Halo Ablation Catheter delivers a short burst of radiofrequency ablative energy circumferentially to the esophagus (balloon length: 4 cm).
Patients with very early cancers of the esophagus can be treated by a combination of minimally invasive techniques. In Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), the portion of the lining that is diseased is removed using an endoscopic procedure. EMR enables the endoscopist to take a sample of tissue for biopsy at the same time as it is being removed. BARRX ablation is a very specific type of ablation, in which heat energy is delivered in a precise and highly-controlled manner. In patients with small superficial cancers that have not yet penetrated deeply into the wall of the esophagus, these techniques can be curative, sparing the patient from more extensive surgery that is required when the tumor invades deeper into the wall of the esophagus.
Stents may also be used to enable patients with esophageal blockages to swallow.
Patients with more advanced tumors are encouraged to undergo multimodality therapy with chemotherapy and radiation therapy followed by surgery. Preoperative therapy increases the likelihood of complete removal of the tumor, and increases cure rate.
We perform many of our esophageal resections for cancer using laparoscopy or thoracoscopy. These minimally invasive approaches can significantly reduce the post operative convalescence, and speed recovery. Most patients are candidates for minimally invasive esophagectomy,, but our considerable experience with open surgery enables us to select appropriate patients for minimally invasive procedures.
Read more about esophagectomy.
Our radiation oncology colleagues offer sophisticated treatment technology for patients with esophageal cancer, including the placement of small catheters threaded to the site of the tumor to deliver a high dose of radiation. Radiation therapy may be used with curative intent or to relieve symptoms, such as an inability to swallow solid foods.
Please click here to learn more about the Department of Radiation Oncology.