Gene amplification in esophageal adenocarcinomas and Barrett's with high-grade dysplasia.


The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency and overall contribution of specific gene amplification events in the formation of Barrett's adenocarcinomas. The relationship of gene amplification to clinical-pathological variables and its potential usefulness as a marker for early cancer detection were also examined.

We used quantitative PCR and Southern blot analysis to screen 87 cases of Barrett's adenocarcinoma for the presence or absence of 13 distinct gene amplification events. Gene amplification was then examined for correlation with other amplification events and clinical variables (survival, stage, nodal involvement, tumor invasion, smoking history, and gender). Additionally, 22 specimens of Barrett's with high-grade dysplasia (HGD) were examined for the presence of gene amplification.

One or more amplification events were present in 50 of 87 (57%) adenocarcinomas. The ERBB2 gene was amplified in 19 of 87 (21.8%), CCNE1 in 11 of 87 (12.6%), GATA4 in 9 of 87 (10.3%), KRAS in 9 of 87 (10.3%), EGFR in 7 of 87 (8.0%), CCND1 in 6 of 87 (6.8%), HNF3alpha in 5 of 87 (5.7%), PIK3CA in 5 of 87 (5.7%), C-MYC in 4 of 87 (4.6%), DYRK2 in 2 of 87 (2.3%), and AIB1, AKT1, and IGF1R were amplified in 0 of 87 (0%) of the tumors. CCND1 amplification was found to correlate negatively with survival (P < 0.05). In addition, the ERBB2 amplicon positively correlated (P < 0.05) with GATA4 amplification. Increased copy number of the ERBB2 (1 of 22), GATA4 (1 of 22), KRAS (2 of 22), C-MYC (1 of 22), CCNE1 (2 of 22), and CCND1 (2 of 22) genes was also observed in one or more Barrett's adenocarcinomas with HGD.

The high frequency of gene amplification in esophageal adenocarcinomas and HGD indicates the important role of these events in esophageal adenocarcinoma development. Additionally, these results underscore the possible usefulness of early detection approaches and chemotherapeutic strategies (ErbB2 and cyclin D1) targeted against amplified gene products.

  • Beer DG
  • Brenner DE
  • Iannettoni MD
  • Lin L
  • Miller CT
  • Moy JR
  • Normolle D
  • Orringer MB
  • Schipper M
PubMed ID
Appears In
Clin Cancer Res, 2003, 9 (13)