WICHITA, Kansas – A new outpatient treatment that destroys precancerous tissue in the lining of the esophagus is now available in Wichita only at Wesley Medical Center. William Salyers, M.D., has been performing the procedure using the new HALO ablation system in Wesley’s Endoscopy Unit since late March.
HALO treats a condition known as Barrett’s disease; individuals with the disease have a 40 to 130 times higher incidence of developing esophageal cancer than those without it. Esophageal cancer is the fastest growing form of cancer in the United States. The five-year patient survival rate is only 16 percent.
Barrett’s disease occurs when the esophagus is regularly exposed to gastric contents of the stomach caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD. The stomach is designed to tolerate stomach acid, but the esophageal lining is not. The esophageal cells can undergo a genetic change, becoming much more vulnerable to cancer.
Before HALO was available, the standard treatment for Barrett’s disease was to monitor the progress of the disease through endoscopies and biopsies, then perform surgery after cancer had developed.
The HALO system uses radiofrequency ablation to heat and destroy the precancerous tissue. No incisions are required, as the ablative energy is delivered by a catheter inserted into the esophagus. The procedure is performed in about 30 minutes and has a success rate of 98 percent.
“Previously we could use ablation therapy to remove or destroy precancerous tissue, but the technology had limitations and wasn’t widely used,” said Drs. Salyers. “The HALO system provides uniform and controlled ablative therapy, which not only removes the abnormal cells but also allows for regrowth of normal cells. It’s also easier to effectively treat patients using HALO without injuring healthy underlying tissue.”
For more information and procedure footage of the HALO ablation treatment, go to www.barrx.com. For more information about Wesley Medical Center, visit wesleyintensivecaring.com.