Projects per year
Metaplasia is the conversion of one cell or tissue type to another and can predispose patients to neoplasia. Perhaps one of the best-known examples of metaplasia is Barrett's metaplasia (BM), a pathological condition in which the distal oesophageal epithelium switches from stratified squamous to intestinal-type columnar epithelium. BM predisposes to oesophageal adenocarcinoma and is the consequence of long-term acid bile reflux. The incidence of BM and oesophageal adenocarcinoma has risen dramatically in recent years. A key event in the pathogenesis of BM is the induction of oesophageal CDX2 expression. Importantly, recent data reveal the molecular mechanisms that link inflammation in the development of Barrett's metaplasia, CDX2 and the progression to cancer. This review highlights the relationship between inflammation, metaplasia and carcinogenesis.