The Microenvironment in Barrett’s Esophagus


This study aims to elucidate the relationship between the microbiome, inflammation, and the microenvironment in Barrett's esophagus (BE) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), with the end goal of developing a non-endoscopic testing strategy based on pathogenic factors to identify patients at highest risk for EAC. To accomplish this the investigators will enroll 100 patients with known BE (50 with dysplasia or EAC) and 50 subjects without BE undergoing upper endoscopy. Prior to endoscopy each subject will undergo three minimally invasive potential screening and surveillance tests: saliva (oral microbiome), breath test (exhaled volatile organic compounds), and tethered capsule sponge sampling (methylated DNA markers). The study will evaluate these novel tests in combination with clinical and anthropometric factors to describe an optimal strategy for BE screening and monitoring.

Full Title of Study: “Application of the Microbiome and Microenvironment to Novel Non-Endoscopic Screening and Surveillance in Barrett’s Esophagus”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Observational
  • Study Design
    • Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
  • Study Primary Completion Date: April 30, 2021

Detailed Description

The investigators will perform a multi-center cross-sectional study of patients with Barrett's esophagus, with and without associated dysplasia or cancer, and controls without BE. Enrollment of controls will be stratified based on use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). The investigators plan to enroll an approximate total of 150 subjects: 100 BE patients (with or without associated dysplasia or cancer) – 50 subjects with non-dysplastic BE – 50 subjects with BE and dysplasia or EAC 50 controls – 25 controls on PPIs (at least once daily) – 25 controls not taking PPIs Various tests will be performed and samples collected on the day of endoscopy. These tests include: saliva samples, electronic nose device testing, tethered capsule sponge testing, dietary questionnaires, and collection of blood and gastrointestinal biosamples. Analyses of this data and samples will then be performed to address the specific aims above.


  • Device: Tethered capsule sponge
    • Subjects swallow a tethered capsule sponge sampling device, which is then withdrawn through the mouth after an interval of 5 minutes.
  • Device: Electronic nose device
    • Subjects breathe into the device, which then records an exhaled volatile organic compounds (VOC) signature.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Barrett’s esophagus
    • Barrett’s esophagus, without or with dysplasia or adenocarcnoma
  • Controls
    • Non-BE endoscopic controls

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Oral and esophageal 16S rRNA gene sequencing
    • Time Frame: 1 day
    • Oral and esophageal microbiome

Secondary Measures

  • Esophageal tissue RNA-Seq
    • Time Frame: 1 day
    • Esophageal tissue transcriptome
  • Gastric aspirate mass spectrometry
    • Time Frame: 1 day
    • Gastric aspirate bile acid composition

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

(for BE patients)

  • History of histologically confirmed BE, defined as endoscopically-suspected BE with intestinal metaplasia with goblet cells on esophageal biopsies – BE length M≥2 – Taking proton pump inhibitors at least once daily for 3 months prior to enrollment – Age ≥18 Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of gastric cancer or esophageal squamous cell cancer – History of gastric or esophageal surgery – Use of antibiotics or systemic immunosuppressants within three months prior to the date of endoscopy (intranasal and inhaled steroids are allowed) – Known untreated esophageal stricture or uninvestigated dysphagia – Inability to give informed consent – (BE patients only) History of prior endoscopic therapy for BE except a history of prior endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) of focal lesions without subsequent ablative therapy is permitted

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Columbia University
  • Collaborator
    • Mayo Clinic
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Julian A Abrams, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology – Columbia University
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Julian A. Abrams, MD, MS, Principal Investigator, Columbia University

Clinical trials entries are delivered from the US National Institutes of Health and are not reviewed separately by this site. Please see the identifier information above for retrieving further details from the government database.

At, we keep tabs on over 200,000 clinical trials in the US and abroad, using medical data supplied directly by the US National Institutes of Health. Please see the About and Contact page for details.