The need to combat the rising incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma with its dismal prognosis has led to increasing development of many endoscopic treatments for Barrett's esophagus (BE). Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been shown to be a safe and effective endoscopic treatment modality for dysplastic BE. The durability of successful eradication of dysplastic BE has been reported by earlier studies with limited sample size, follow-up time, and inadequate cohort of patients with high-grade dysplasia or intramucosal cancer. In this issue, Orman and colleagues present their findings from their single center, retrospective cohort of patients who underwent RFA with post-treatment surveillance. They report a low recurrence rate of 5.2% per year. There were no clinical characteristics found to be associated with BE recurrence in terms of length of segment or degree of dysplasia. Complete eradication of dysplasia (CE-D) or intestinal metaplasia was determined after a single post-RFA endoscopic examination with biopsies. This is an area of controversy as previous studies have used a minimum of two negative examinations before CE can be claimed. There are also limitations from sampling error during surveillance biopsies and the loss of a third of all post-RFA patients during surveillance. Multicenter, prospective studies with adequate follow-up are still needed before we can draw recommendations when to adequately cease post-treatment surveillance and to identify patients with increased risk of either recurrence or progression.
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