Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is one of the most lethal and fastest growing cancers in the United States. Its onset is commonly triggered by metaplastic transformation of normal squamous esophageal epithelial cells to Barrett's esophagus (BE) cells in response to acid reflux. BE patients are believed to progress through non-dysplastic metaplasia and increasing grades of dysplasia prior to EAC. Conventional cancer diagnostic tools rely on bulk-cell analyses that are incapable of identifying intratumoral heterogeneity or rare driver cells that play important roles in cancer progression.
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