* Oesophageal Cancer - Latest News, Latest Research | CANCERactive

* Oesophageal Cancer - Latest News, Latest Research | CANCERactive


Increase your personal odds of survival by empowering yourself with the latest news and research on Oesophageal cancer; news you can use today and incorporate into your integrative cancer treatment programme.


Just click on the title below to read the article.

Go to: An Overview of Oesophageal Cancer - symptoms, treatment and alternative therapies

2023 Research

2022 Research

2021 Research

2020 Research

2019 Research

Go to: Sheena Howarth, Living Proof - beating oesophageal cancer

2008 Research

2007 Research

2006 Research

2005 Research

2004 Research

According to MD Anderson, variations in a common gene pathway may affect the risk of oesophageal cancer, a cancer that is becoming more common. Scientists from M. D. Anderson have conducted the first study to look at the link between genes related to microRNAs (miRNAs) and oesophageal cancer. They published their results in the November issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association of Cancer Research. Cancer of the oesophagus ranks sixth in cancer-related deaths worldwide, and the number of cases is increasing. Major risk factors for oesophageal cancer include tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking and reflux disease. The high incidence of these risk factors in the general population and the rare occurrence of the disease gave researchers a clue there might be a genetic connection.

"This research showed not only that a single gene contributes to the risk of oesophageal cancer but more important, that the joint effect of several genetic elements can increase risk," says the study’s first author, Yuanqing Ye, Ph.D., instructor in the Department of Epidemiology at M. D. Anderson.

High fruit and Vegetable Diet and oesophageal cancer

According to a study conducted by researchers from Kaiser Permanente Northern California and published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, a diet high in fruit and vegetables may greatly reduce oesophageal cancer risk. A precursor to oesophageal cancer is usually Acid Reflux, and this most commonly results in Barrett’s Oesophagus.

Over 900 people participated in the study, which used a food diary to measure antioxidant intake. Those with the highest intake of vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E had a 52 per cent, 44 per cent and 75 per cent respectively lower risk of developing the disease.

And, as we repeatedly tell you, these natural compounds performed better than simply taking the synthetic equivalents.

Unfortunately, the research showed that taking these high levels of fruit and vegetables had little effect on those people who had already developed a cancer.

Acid Reflux is usually caused by the excess presence of the parasite Helicobacter pylori in the stomach. Goldenseal, wormwood, aloe vera and Neway’s Parafree can significantly help this condition. Or you can take a three drug cocktail. People with acid reflux should avoid taking ant-acids as acid kills off the parasite, and this is a part of the body’s defence system. (Source: www.foodnavigator-usa.com.)

Black Raspberries so many benefits!

Black raspberries provide a powerful mix of cancer-inhibiting compounds according to new research from the Ohio State University Cancer Center.

Rats injected with oesophageal cancer inducing factors were divided into two groups. The group eating black raspberries after two weeks had 60 per cent less cancers and the researchers concluded that the berries protected the genome from damage.

Indeed, the researchers described the results as 'astonishing’. Having measured the gene activity in the rats, while 50 per cent altered due to the cancer induction in the normal group, 20 per cent less were altered in the group taking the berries.

Lead researcher Gary Stoner felt that these results must derive from a number of benefits, not merely one. From a second study and genetic analysis he concluded, ’What’s emerging from studies in cancer chemoprevention is that using single compounds alone is not enough’. The berries seem to provide several benefits. He advocates eating yet more known beneficial foods at the same time, such as grapes, medicinal mushrooms, broccoli and cruciferous vegetables and flaxseed. Just as I do in my new book The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer.

Throat cancer: tobacco and HPV

The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas has shown a link between throat cancer, oral sex and the sexually transmitted Human Papillomavirus (HPV). This finding has prompted these researchers to join the clamour for vaccination of boys. However only ’if ongoing studies deem it safe and effective in preventing viral infection’, according to a review article published in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Cancer.

M. D. Anderson’s Erich Sturgis, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery, and Paul Cinciripini, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Behavioral Science, wrote the review. "We encourage the rapid study of the efficacy and safety of these vaccines in males and, if successful, the recommendation of vaccination in young adult and adolescent males,"

Their review shows that a decline in smoking over the last 20 years (due to increased efforts to raise public awareness about the effects of tobacco use) has led to a decline in most head and neck cancers, except throat cancer. Also known as cancer of the oropharynx, throat cancer includes cancers of the tonsils, base of the tongue and soft palate, and side and back of the throat. They attribute the steady throat cancer statistics to the HPV virus (specifically HPV-16), which can be transmitted through oral sex. HPV-16 also causes cervical cancer, but researchers state that cervical cancer has been in decline in the United States (probably because of cervical screening, which results in the successful treatment of pre-malignant cervical lesions).

Oesophageal Cancer and aspirin

Several people have written to us in the past about oesophageal cancer.  We have covered a number of studies on its links to 'acid reflux’.  Unfortunately many doctors stop there and just give the patient antacids, rather than understand the cause.  We have repeatedly suggested that patients go and check out whether they have Helicobacter Pylori, long known to cause stomach ulcers, now linked to stomach cancer, but a cause of acid reflux as well. Localised inflammation is also a huge factor, we always suggest people sip Aloe Vera first thing in the morning and last thing at night, sometimes with garlic perles.  Aloe Vera contains six or seven different anti-inflammatories, including salicylic acid (the active ingredient of aspirin).

It came as no surprise to our editorial team to see that CRUK were now funding a trial - using aspirin plus an anti-ulcer drug, as a possible way of preventing/treating a condition called Barrett’s Oesophagus.  The press release notes that 'patients with the condition have stomach acid that rises from the stomach into the oesophagus, causing frequent heartburn.  The acid damages the cells in the lining of the oesophagus and, in some cases, they turn cancerous.’

So about time!  And still failing to understand the real issue.

Meanwhile readers with similar problems might visit a naturopath or homeopath, or a doctor for Helicobacter Pylori tests, take a combination of bismuth and Goldenseal, or drugs to kill it off if it is there.  Parafree from Neways along with wormwood and garlic is also pretty effective.  (Ed: I know; it worked for me after doctors in Harley Street failed - for 8 years - to diagnose my problem. Contact our offices if you need to find these natural products).

And sip Aloe Vera morning and night.. or take aspirin.

Nitrate, nitrite and bacterial cancer links to stomach, oesophageal and brain cancers

Scientists from 19 countries, at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon (IARC) have concluded that high nitrite levels (especially in conjunction with low vitamin C levels) are linked to carcinogenicity.  Links with stomach cancer, oesophageal cancer and brain tumours were especially noted.

The working group were especially concerned with the run-off of fertilisers into surface and well water.  Nitrites and nitrates may have a direct cancer effect or promote the by-products of cyanobacteria in the soil and water.  By-products such as microcystins and nodularins are cyclic peptides and are toxins produced when the bacteria die.  These toxins accumulate in fish and shellfish, for example.  Significant evidence linking these toxins to liver cancer was found.

Can A Protein Level Predict Past Surgery Survival In Gastro-Oesophageal Cancer?

The British Journal of Cancer 2006; 94; 1568-71 reports on studies from the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Those patients with mixed concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) pre-surgery have a poorer survival rate. One of the researchers, Donald McMillan, suggests that heightened CRP is indicative of heightened inflammation and impaired T-lymphocyte response.

The finding has links to similar studies and conclusions with colorectal, pancreatic, bladder and renal cancer. The research would imply that patients with high CRP scores should not undergo surgery.

Drug Performances In Oesophagogastric Cancer

According to the Lancet Oncology Vol 7, July 2006, in a randomized trial with 1002 patients, the results indicated that capecitabine could replace fluorouracil and oxaliplatin could replace cisplatin.

Oesophageal Cancer Test

Professor Gareth Williams and Dr Kai Stoeber of UCL’s Wolfson Institute for Biomedical research have developed a test that is 85 per cent accurate at diagnosing oesophageal cancer in its early stages.

General oesophageal tests are nonspecific and the cancer is rarely caught at an early stage resulting in low levels of survival (8 per cent in the UK). When diagnosis catches it early and chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used, claims of 80 per cent are being made for 5-year survival. The new test takes fluid samples from the oesophagus and is claimed to be simple enough to encourage regular cancer screening.

New test for oesophageal cancer

With over 7000 cases per year, oesophageal cancer is the ninth largest cancer in the UK and growing fast (27 per cent in the last 15 years). A new test looks for a protein called Mcm5 and is 85 per cent accurate. Oesophageal cancer, hitherto, has been extremely hard to diagnose early. (Addenbrooke’s Hospital: Dr Stephen Middleton).

Oesophageal cancer and brachytherapy

Local reoccurrences of oesophageal cancer can be reduced by using localised radiotherapy. Now researchers at McGill, Toronto have shown that intracavity brachytherapy, used to boost radiation to the tumour prior to external beam radiation improves treatment. "Too much external radiation kills the tumour and the patient", says Harry Bleiberg of lnstitut Jules Bordet, Belgium. This method gets more radiation to the tumour

Insulin resistence/intolerance found to increase cancer risk

A while ago, at CANCERactive we told you all about Insulin Resistance. 'Do you have trouble losing weight?’ This is a common sign, as are low levels of HDL, high triglycerides, high blood glucose levels and more. And while you are not a true diabetic, the principles seem the same for an estimate of up to 70 per cent of the population, who (frankly) just eat badly. We have also given you a number of research studies showing glucose drives cancer.

Not surprisingly, insulin resistance is a step along the road to diabetes and heart disease. Now it has been shown to be a step along the road to cancer too.

New research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, concluded that 'there is a strong link between insulin resistance and the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer.’ Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York have concluded that the elevated insulin levels linked to insulin resistance result in post-menopausal women having a higher risk of breast cancer.

The researchers also found that elevated blood glucose and triglyceride levels raised the risk of breast cancer by 1.7 times. Increased diastolic blood pressure (the second number when you have your blood pressure measured ) raised the risk of breast cancer 2.4 times.

Two factors are important here:

  1. Although this research was conducted looking at breast cancer, you can bet this is true for many cancers, male and female.
  2. Yet again it highlights the point we consistently make about the daft sugar-laden diets given to cancer patients in UK Hospitals.

We have complained that the NHS booklet on 'a diet for chemotherapy’ shows little drawings of cheese burgers, milk shakes and sticky doughnuts on every page. My daughter was given ice cream and Ribena endlessly in her oncology unit.

Of course the good news for everyone preventers and people with cancer - is that insulin resistance and blood sugar levels are controllable and reverse-able. Just change your diet!!!

I will list here for everyone’s benefit some of the tips from my book ’The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer’:

  • Eat six small meals a day, not one or two big ones
  • Eat whole foods and whole grains (never refined, processed or fast foods)
  • Avoid alcohol, fizzy soft drinks, sweets, cakes, white bread, white pasta, biscuits, chocolate. Diet drinks are especially bad! As are smoothies and purchased fruit juices; even many so-called health drinks.
  • Eat raw most days, on an empty stomach if possible
  • Eat your fruit first thing in the morning on an empty stomach
  • Eat steamed or grilled never fried
  • Avoid Dairy (lactose is a sugar)
  • Take probiotics in several strains
  • Ensure you have no yeast excesses in your body (take cinnamon, oregano, Pau D’Arco and wormwood).
  • And eat fresh raw garlic.

Remember, research from North Western shows that if you lose excess weight you reduce risk and even improve survival times.

The book contains far more detailed advice.

Being overweight increases cancer risk fact

Cancer Research UK have just researched 4,000 people and come up with the staggering fact that 97 per cent of people have no idea that being overweight is a significant cancer risk. Of course, had they read our report on the research we conducted 4 years ago they would have known that people haven’t much a clue what does cause cancer anyway. Indeed we went into all the key issues in our 2004 Cancer Prevention Conference, which was poorly attended by the ’major’ charities.

As we have been telling people for seven years, it all depends which report you read, and how much overweight you are, but to be just 7 kgs overweight knocks over 5 years off your life expectancy, and a whopping 13 years if you smoke as well. .All this is well documented in my book, ’Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’  indeed it has been there since the first edition some 7 years ago.

All this comes in parallel with new Swedish research showing overweight women tend to be diagnosed with higher grade cancers than ladies who have restrained their weight.

One of the real issues is that many overweight people are in denial. We have had ladies write to us with breast cancer and they are 13 kgs over normal weight for their height. One described herself as 'cuddly’, another as 'being a bit chunky’.

In our original 2004 prevention research, people stated that giving up smoking was important, as was avoiding excess alcohol, and staying out of the sun. As we pointed out at the time, ’Burning is bad, sunshine is sensible’. 4 years ago there was too much bad science coming from cancer charities suggesting sunshine was carcinogenic. In fact there is actually a great deal of research that suggests that a daily dose of sun shine promotes vitamin D synthesis in the body, and reduces cancer risk. A few people also knew that exercise was a risk reducer. But, in all, few people knew any information about preventing cancer (unlike Heart disease or AIDS) and blame for this lack of information can only be laid at the doors of the Government and the cancer charities. It was in response to this research finding that CANCERactive decided to adopt the Precautionary Principle (that where there is expert research expressing concern, we will pass on that research information so that the people of Britain can make more informed choices). As a result just compare the volume of Prevention Topics we cover against those listed on the major charities web sites. Pesticides? EMF’s? Melatonin? Toxic Chemicals, from dioxins to oestrogen mimics in plastic bottles and preservatives?

Anyone who is unsure of the factors that may increase cancer risk should go to the prevention part of our web site where they will find more information on more possible causes than on any other UK charity web site. As you will see, we have given some weight to the issue of cancer prevention!

Men more likely to get cancer the issue is why?

Men are almost 40 per cent more likely than women to die from cancer, reveals a report published by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN).

And they are 16 per cent more likely to develop the disease in the first place.

After excluding breast cancer and cancers specific to one or other sex from the analysis, the difference is even greater with men being almost 70 per cent more likely to die from cancer and over 60 per cent more likely to develop the disease.

The researchers then looked at the figures, excluding lung cancer as well, because the disease and its main risk factor, smoking, is known to be more common in men.They expected to see that, across the broad range of remaining cancer types, men and women were just as likely as each other to die from and get the disease. But they found that for all of these cancers combined, men were still 70 per cent more likely than women to die from cancer and 60 per cent more likely to get cancer.

Experts suggest that a possible explanation for the differences seen for some types of cancer could be down to stereotypical male behaviour like down-playing important early symptoms and having an unhealthy lifestyle.

Even rogue cancer DNA repairs itself

CRUK scientists (Nature) have discovered a sensor which exists even in cancer cells. Some drugs try to damage cancer DNA. This sensor system is actually a family of proteins (alkyltransferase-like proteins or ATL’s) warns the cell and activates the DNA repair systems and so the drugs lose their effect.

Organic foods are better ignore the UK Food Standards Agency

All over the UK papers comes news of the 'ruling’ from the FSA that 'organic food is no more nutritious than other foods’. According to that well known medical journal, the Daily Mail, ’watchdogs’ have declared this to be true.

Claiming to be the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’ trawled through more than 50,000 studies on the value of foods since 1958.’ The results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dr Alan Dangour (a public health nutritionist, no less) who was the lead researcher stated that, ’Currently there is no research to support the selection of organically produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority’.

Spokesperson Gill Fine from the FSA burbled on about, 'Ensuring people had accurate information’ and 'no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic foods’.

What staggers us at CANCERactive is that in order to resolve this very same question the EU has just spent 12 million of tax payers’ money conducting as near as can be, the definitive Clinical Trial, growing fields of organic food in parallel with normal pesticide and fertiliser-grown crops and then employing top scientists to give us the results. The FSA, which is after all a Government funded unit, ought to know this and use the data. And be clear, Gill: The ’accurate information’ is that there is a considerable difference. And this is just from early assessments. The project will continue for a few more years yet, as that is how long it takes to be sure. Professor Carlo Leifert, one of the CANCERactive patrons, is a lead member of the team.We covered the early conclusions in this very magazine.

The Daily Mail falls into the usual 'bad science’ trap too, meandering on about 50 years of research and 50,000 studies. But, the researchers didn’t use 50,000 studies, they used, sorry selected, 55 that ’met their criteria’, whatever they were. So one concludes therefore they left out a mere 49,945 studies from their conclusions. Perhaps one was the definitive EU study?

Then there is Dr Alan 'no evidence to support nutritional superiority’ Dangour. I quote about 10 - 15 such studies in my book ’The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer’. Leifert and his team have a hundred more! What planet do these people live on? Al, old chap, there is rather a lot of scientific evidence actually; I cannot believe you think there is none..

But for the last word we will return to Gill 'no additional health benefit’ Fine. All I can conclude is that she finds pesticides tasty and of absolutely harmless. Of course that view would put her directly at odds with the EU, which recently concluded that there were ’deep concerns’ and cited health hazards including cancer as a need for more regulation. It is puzzling that Gill ’ensuring people have accurate information’ Fine does not seem to be telling you all about  research studies showing that farmers using pesticides develop more multiple myeloma, and another that this is due to the pesticide making pre-cancerous MGUS proteins in the blood, or (for example) that some third world suppliers to British retailers still use the banned pesticides of DDT and Lindane, each linked to higher rates of Breast Cancer. (If she is unsure, she could always trawl through back issues of Cancer Watch for more ’accurate information’.)

For the record, there is concern that organic foods grown on depleted soils offer little in additional mineral content over mass-farmed foods. How could they? On basic vitamins there is quite a lot of evidence that organic food is superior, but sometimes not by much. The real advantage seems to come in the area of complex natural compounds (like resveratrol, quercitin, omega 3 or polyphenols) where organic foods score much more highly. For example, the use of fungicide negates the need for grapes to produce fungus fighting resveratrol of their own several studies have measured this. And even 10 years ago researchers didn’t know too much about these compounds or their health benefits, and so did not research for them. How many such studies were in the ’selected’ group?

Personally I don’t think everybody should rush off and buy everything organic we have told you which foods research studies show are more likely to hold their pesticides, and which do not. So in a number of cases there is not a lot to worry about. But red fruits like strawberries and greens like broccoli do need extra caution before using the sprayed versions.

It is all very sad really. I think that the people, and especially the patients who want to beat cancer deserve better than this. But then, that’s why we set up CANCERactive.

Need to prevent thousands of older people dying from cancer, prematurely

As many as 15,000 people over 75 could be dying prematurely from cancer each year in the UK, according to research presented today at the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) conference.

These premature deaths could be prevented if cancer mortality rates in the UK dropped to match countries in Europe and America which have the lowest rates.

The researchers from the North West Cancer Intelligence Service (NWCIS) in Manchester compared cancer death rates in the UK with Europe and America.

They found that over the past decade the numbers of people dying from cancer in the under 75s has significantly dropped in the UK. But, little progress has been made in the over 75s and the gap in death rates with other countries is getting wider.

Dr Tony Moran, lead researcher from NWCIS, said It’s worrying that so many older people die from cancer in the UK compared with other countries. But, it’s not clear why this is. Research is urgently needed to understand the reasons for the extra deaths so that steps can be taken to prevent them.

New scientific study reveals flaws, even fraud, in Clinical Trials

Scientific study. Clinical Trial, Gold Standard. Non Sequetor. Well, at least according to Dr Daniele Fanelli at the University of Edinburgh. In a recent study Fanelli lists findings such as

Most clinical results are misleading

  • 5 per cent of scientists have admitted falsifying results
  • One third of scientists admitted observing such bad practice in others

Fanelli’s report states that the misconduct is more prevalent in clinical, medical, and pharmaceutical research. So much for the ’gold standard’; but then he goes on to refer to the high profits at stake where a few word changes can make all the difference, even if it’s not fraud but 'presentation’.

He also comments on studies that criticise vitamins suggesting that all too often, doses used are too low to have an effect, or the where vitamin tested is known not to have an effect on a particular disease whereas another, untested one, is.

Return to the top

Oesophageal cancer rising ’sharply’, especially in men

Oesophageal cancer cases have doubled in the last 25 years according to researchers from the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. The biggest rise has been seen in men in their fifties where they have risen by two thirds. Researchers, supported by comments from a Cancer Research UK spokesperson, claimed to have little idea what lay behind the sharp rises and blamed obesity and bad diet. The situation is far worse in men. In women the overall rate has only risen 8 per cent in these last 25 years. Difficulty in swallowing is one sign of possible disease. Only recently researchers from Australia linked alcohol-based mouthwash to a higher incidence of throat cancers, saying it should be banned. Risk was especially noted if the person also smoked, or drank alcohol. 

Return to the top


Oesophageal Cancer
CancerAcitve Logo
Subscribe (Free e-Newsletter)

Join Chris'

Join Chris' NewsletterSignup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.