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A Case of Mistaken Identity: Researchers Unmask Cellular Source of Barrett's Esophagus

Medical Xpress

Photo: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

medicalxpress.com

For most cells within the body, identity is non-negotiable. A bladder cell cannot impersonate a blood cell. A liver cell remains a liver cell.

One of the rare exceptions has been thought to be a condition known as Barrett's esophagus, in which the lining of the esophagus comes to resemble the lining of the small intestine. Though not harmful in itself, it is the biggest risk factor for the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma, a cancer at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach.

Two recent studies by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists ...