Introduction and Background: Familial Barrett's Esophagus (FBE), the familial aggregation of Barrett's esophagus (BE), esophageal adenocarcinoma, and esophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma, is a complex genetic trait, likely caused by genetic variants that predispose to disease susceptibility. Various family based and population based study designs, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses, are utilized in the research of complex genetic diseases like FBE. Successful gene searches require a team approach that combines clinicians, epidemiologists, statisticians, pathologists, and molecular biologists in large collaborative accrual networks.
Aim : The proposed FBE Summit will bring national and international investigators interested in the genetic susceptibility to Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma together to - 1) determine a common definition of the FBE phenotype/trait;2) develop mutual transfer agreements for sharing samples;3) select common genotyping platforms for data sharing;4) define the most promising joint study designs for identifying susceptibility genes;5) develop joint collaborative proposals;and 6) identify project managers who will ensure the success of these research teams. Previous Work: The FBE Summit is an outgrowth of our annual FBE consortium meeting, which began in 2002. These annual meetings have helped us grow our familial research to investigators at 7 institutions, publish 7 manuscripts on various epidemiological aspects of FBE, and create a joint bio-repository from identified FBE pedigrees. Plan for Meeting and Expected Products: The organizing committee identified six important issues -- trait definition, accrual, bio-banking, study design, genotyping, and team research that need to be addressed to advance FBE research. The format of the previously successful NCI sponsored Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research (BETR) Working Group meeting was adopted for this meeting. Invited speakers will cover these six important issues during a full day FBE Summit meeting on May 1, 2010 in Cleveland. Talks will be followed by breakout sessions, chaired by members of the organizing committee. Specific goals of the breakout sessions will include the development of mechanisms for creating national and international consortia and facilitating specimen and data sharing. Subsequent publication of the invited lectures and the action items from the breakout sessions will enable the formation of collaborative research teams and large scale study proposals that are essential for progress in complex genetic diseases such as Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma.
The FBE Summit meeting would promote Familial Barrett's Esophagus research. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify inherited genetic mutations that make individuals susceptible to developing Barrett's esophagus and cancers. Genetic blood tests could then be developed to improve endoscopic screening efforts in high risk groups. Furthermore, the identification of these genes would provide mechanistic insights into these diseases and also provide targets for developing novel therapeutic strategies.