Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 8, pp 2217–2225 | Cite as

Potential Role of the Microbiome in Barrett’s Esophagus and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

  • Erik J. Snider
  • Daniel E. Freedberg
  • Julian A. Abrams


Esophageal adenocarcinoma and its precursor Barrett’s esophagus have been rapidly increasing in incidence for half a century, for reasons not adequately explained by currently identified risk factors such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and obesity. The upper gastrointestinal microbiome may represent another potential cofactor. The distal esophagus has a distinct microbiome of predominantly oral-derived flora, which is altered in Barrett’s esophagus and reflux esophagitis. Chronic low-grade inflammation or direct carcinogenesis from this altered microbiome may combine with known risk factors to promote Barrett’s metaplasia and progression to adenocarcinoma.


Esophageal adenocarcinoma Barrett’s esophagus Gastroesophageal reflux disease Human microbiome 



The authors are supported in part by a Columbia Physicians and Surgeon’s Dean’s Research Fellowship (EJS), a mentored career development award through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ Clinical and Translational Science awards program (NIH KL2 TR000081; DEF), a U54 award from the National Cancer Institute (U54 CA163004; JAA), and an Irving Scholars Award (JAA).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no disclosures to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik J. Snider
    • 1
  • Daniel E. Freedberg
    • 1
  • Julian A. Abrams
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Digestive and Liver DiseasesColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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