Biomarkers for Identifying Patients at High Risk of Progressing from Barrett’s Esophagus to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

Invention Summary: 

Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has a poor prognosis with a 5-year overall survival of 15-20%. In the past 3 decades, the incidence of EAC increased 600-800%. Barrett’s esophagus (BE), the precancerous lesion for EAC, has approximately 0.11 to 1.6% annual rate of progression to EAC. Currently, the guidelines for BE surveillance are periodical follow-up endoscopy, which suffers from low cost-effectiveness and inconsistent patient compliance since the incidence of EAC is low. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify biomarkers associated with a high risk of progressing to EAC.

Rutgers researchers utilized the Illumina Methylation EPIC microarray assay for 850,000 methylation sites to study the biomarker to identify BE with a high risk to develop to EAC. More than 20 hypermethylation genes were identified as promising biomarkers for screening BE patients with a higher risk of progressing to esophageal adenocarcinoma. Both sensitivity and specificity of top 20 gene hypermethylation are 100% to identify high-risk patients to progress to EAC, which are the best biomarkers in the market.


  • Dramatically decreasing the cost of BE surveillance.
  • More accurate and sensitive test than what exists on the current market.
  • Early treatment before cancer happens.
  • Able to estimate a patient survival rate of 100%.

Market Applications:

  • Identify BE patients at high risk of progressing to EAC before EAC happens.
  • Develop a diagnostic methylation kit.

Intellectual Property & Development Status: 

 Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.  Please contact

Patent Information:
Shemaila Sultana
Assistant Director
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Cancer biomarkers