The identification of hereditary cancer genes for esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and its precursor, Barrett’s esophagus (BE), may prove critical for the development of novel prevention and treatment strategies. Specifically, efforts for detecting BE and EAC susceptibility genes have focused on families with three or more affected members, since these individuals have an earlier age onset compared to non-familial individuals. Given that the use of BE may overestimate the likelihood of disease heritability, we evaluated the age of diagnosis in kindreds with a restricted definition including only confirmed high-grade dysplasia (HGD) or EAC. The Familial Barrett’s Esophagus Consortium database was used to identify individuals with HGD and EAC. These individuals were subsequently split into three kindred groups: non-familial—a single affected family member, duplex—two affected family members, and multiplex—three or more affected family members. Age of cancer diagnosis and other risk factors were compared between individuals in these groups. The study included 441 non-familial, 46 duplex, and 13 multiplex individuals. There was a statistically significant difference for age of diagnosis for individuals in the multiplex families compared to the non-familial and duplex families (56.0 versus 64.3, 63.5; p = 0.049). There was no significant difference between demographic factors and other cancer risk factors between family types. The results of this study support a genetic basis for familial Barrett’s associated neoplasia and evaluation of the genetic susceptibility to this disease should continue to focus on families with multiple (three or more) affected members.
- Barrett’s associated neoplasia
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Esophageal adenocarcinoma
- Familial Barrett’s esophagus