A prospective study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology described the possible use of SCCA-IgM in the identification of patients at risk for Barrett esophagus (BE) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) (article available HERE).
Coordinated by Prof. Farinati, the study was performed on 231 patients and involved the Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology of Padua's University Hospital, the Oncologic Surgery Unit of the Oncology Institute of Veneto and the Department of Surgery and Oncology of St. Mary's Hospital in London.
The statistical analysis of the data showed that serological levels of SCCA-IgM are significantly higher in patients with BE or EAC compared to controls. In patients with SCCA-IgM >56.6 AU/mL the relative risk was 33 times higher than that observed in patients with lower levels of the biomarker. In addition, the cut-off value for SCCA-IgM >78.5 AU/mL allowed the identification of patients at a more severe and advanced stage among those with BE.
Although preliminary and to be implemented in a larger group of patients, the data suggests the use of SCCA-IgM for screening to identify the patients at risk for BE or EAC and to stratify subjects with BE in different risk categories. The biomarker might improve the surveillance protocols currently used on patients at risk for BE or EAC and may reduce the number of endoscopies and their associated costs.