T

he esophagus is a tube that connects the throat to the stomach, running down the middle of your chest behind your heart, and carrying foods and liquids from your mouth to the digestive system. Most adult’s esophagi are about 25 centimeters long and are lined by mucosa (a moist membrane that protects tissues) and muscle fibers.

The main function of the esophagus is to guide foods and fluids to the stomach avoiding foreign material (food, liquids, stomach acid or foreign objects) to enter into your trachea and lungs. There are two sphincter muscles – upper and lower – in the esophagus that are tightly closed in order to prevent stomach juices from traveling up the esophagus and also to prevent unwanted secretions from traveling to stomach. These muscles open up when you are eating, drinking, breathing, belching, etc.

A weakened lower esophageal sphincter is usually responsible for chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

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What is Esophageal Cancer?

Esophageal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs healthy cells start to grow and divide uncontrollably creating growths (known as tumors) along the surface of the esophagus. Doctors diagnose esophageal cancer using a camera-guided scope (endoscopy) to explore the esophagus and look for any abnormalities such as nodules or areas of irritation. If the doctor found any signs of cancer during an endoscopy they may order a biopsy to collect a sample of the abnormal growth. These tissues are analyzed for any potential cancer cells.

There are two main types of esophageal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

Squamous cell carcinomas develop from normal squamous cells that run along the surface of the esophagus. On the other hand, adenocarcinomas are formed from gland cells present in the lower third of the esophagus, and it is believed to be caused mainly by the continuous exposure to stomach acid.

What Are the Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer?

Early stage esophageal cancer usually doesn’t have any symptoms, however, as the cancer progresses it starts to cause the following problems and discomforts:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Chest or back pain
  • Chronic heartburn or indigestion
  • A cough and/or hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath and/or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite

What Causes Esophageal Cancer?

The causes of esophageal cancer are still not fully understood. However, doctors believe that there are a few risk factors that appear to increase a person’s risk for developing this kind of cancer.

Tobacco and Alcohol Use

Tobacco and drinking alcohol seems to damage DNA cells in the lining of the esophagus, which may lead them to mutate and become cancerous.

Gender

Men are three to four times more likely than women to develop esophageal cancer.

Being Overweight or Obese

Obesity and having too much body fat seems to increase the likelihood of developing esophageal cancer. However, researchers are still trying to find out why that happens.

Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that develops from chronic GERD in which the normal lining of the esophagus changes as a result of the constant acid exposure. Though Barrett’s Esophagus is not a form of cancer, some individuals with this condition develop esophageal cancer later on.

Diet

A diet low fruits and vegetables and some vitamin deficiencies have been observed to increase an individual’s risk of developing this type of cancer.

Esophageal Cancer Clinical Trials

Unfortunately, because esophageal cancer is rarely diagnosed early it has one the lowest survival rates. For that reason, doctors and researchers are constantly looking for better screening and diagnostic methods as well as more effective treatments. In order to test new approaches, researchers design clinical trials that involve esophageal cancer patients.

The main goal of a clinical trial is to assess if a new drug or intervention is safe, effective, and altogether a better alternative than available options. Clinical trials are very carefully evaluated by internal and external agencies to ensure that the health and safety of volunteers are never compromised.

ClinicalTrials.gov: Recruiting Studies | esophageal cancer | Last update posted in the last 300 days Studies found on ClinicalTrials.gov by a search of: Recruiting Studies | esophageal cancer | Last update posted in the last 300 days

  • Study of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) for Supportive and Symptomatic Management in Patients With Esophageal Cancer
    on September 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Esophageal ObstructionIntervention:   Other: EGCGSponsor:   Shandong Cancer Hospital and InstituteRecruiting

  • Enhanced Outpatient Symptom Management to Reduce Acute Care Visits Due to Chemotherapy-Related Adverse Events
    on September 9, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Clinical Stage IV Esophageal Adenocarcinoma AJCC v8;   Clinical Stage IV Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Clinical Stage IV Gastric Cancer AJCC v8;   Clinical Stage IVA Esophageal Adenocarcinoma AJCC v8;   Clinical Stage IVA Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Clinical Stage IVA Gastric Cancer AJCC v8;   Clinical Stage IVB Esophageal Adenocarcinoma AJCC v8;   Clinical Stage IVB Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Clinical Stage IVB Gastric Cancer AJCC v8;   Metastatic Colon Carcinoma;   Metastatic Esophageal Carcinoma;   Metastatic Gastric Carcinoma;   Metastatic Liver Carcinoma;   Metastatic Malignant Digestive System Neoplasm;   Metastatic Malignant Small Intestinal Neoplasm;   Metastatic Malignant Thoracic Neoplasm;   Metastatic Pancreatic Carcinoma;   Metastatic Rectal Carcinoma;   Pathologic Stage IV Esophageal Adenocarcinoma AJCC v8;   Pathologic Stage IV Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Pathologic Stage IV Gastric Cancer AJCC v8;   Pathologic Stage IVA Esophageal Adenocarcinoma AJCC v8;   Pathologic Stage IVA Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Pathologic Stage IVB Esophageal Adenocarcinoma AJCC v8;   Pathologic Stage IVB Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Postneoadjuvant Therapy Stage IV Esophageal Adenocarcinoma AJCC v8;   Postneoadjuvant Therapy Stage IV Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Postneoadjuvant Therapy Stage IV Gastric Cancer AJCC v8;   Postneoadjuvant Therapy Stage IVA Esophageal Adenocarcinoma AJCC v8;   Postneoadjuvant Therapy Stage IVA Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Postneoadjuvant Therapy Stage IVB Esophageal Adenocarcinoma AJCC v8;   Postneoadjuvant Therapy Stage IVB Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Stage IV Colon Cancer AJCC v8;   Stage IV Hepatocellular Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer AJCC v8;   Stage IV Rectal Cancer AJCC v8;   Stage IV Small Intestinal, Esophageal, Colorectal, Mesenteric, and Peritoneal Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor AJCC v8;   Stage IVA Colon Cancer AJCC v8;   Stage IVA Hepatocellular Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Stage IVA Rectal Cancer AJCC v8;   Stage IVB Colon Cancer AJCC v8;   Stage IVB Hepatocellular Carcinoma AJCC v8;   Stage IVB Rectal Cancer AJCC v8;   Stage IVC Colon Cancer AJCC v8;   Stage IVC Rectal Cancer AJCC v8Interventions:   Other: Best Practice;   Procedure: Patient Monitoring;   Other: Questionnaire AdministrationSponsor:   M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterRecruiting

  • Capnographic Monitoring in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy for Elderly Patients
    on September 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Hypoxia;   Gastric Cancer;   Gastric Polyp;   Colon Polyp;   Colon Cancer;   Esophageal CancerInterventions:   Device: Capnography monitoring;   Device: Standard monitoringSponsors:   RenJi Hospital;   Henan Provincial People's Hospital;   Qilu Hospital of Shandong UniversityRecruiting

  • Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy (PD-1 / PD-L1) Combined With Chemotherapy for Locally Advanced Thoracic Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: a Single Center, Prospective, Open, One Arm Exploratory Clinical Study
    on August 31, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma;   Neoadjuvant TherapiesIntervention:   Procedure: Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy (PD-1 / PD-L1) Combined With ChemotherapySponsors:   Tongji Hospital;   National Natural Science Foundation of ChinaRecruiting

  • Infigratinib in Subjects With GC or GEJ With FGFR2 Amplification or Other Solid Tumors With Other FGFR Alterations
    on August 25, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Gastric Cancer;   Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma;   Solid TumorIntervention:   Drug: InfigratinibSponsor:   LianBio LLCRecruiting

  • Second-line Cabozantinib and Atezolizumab in Patients With Recurrent or Metastatic Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    on August 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Esophageal Cancer;   Metastatic Cancer;   Squamous Cell CarcinomaInterventions:   Drug: Cabozantinib 40 MG;   Drug: Atezolizumab InjectionSponsors:   National Taiwan University Hospital;   Ipsen;   Roche Pharma AGRecruiting

  • A Study to Evaluate ELU001 in Patients With Solid Tumors That Overexpress Folate Receptor Alpha (FRα)
    on August 11, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Ovarian Cancer;   Ovarian Neoplasms;   Ovarian Carcinoma;   Endometrial Cancer;   Colorectal Cancer;   Gastric Cancer;   Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma;   Gastric Adenocarcinoma;   TNBC - Triple-Negative Breast Cancer;   Triple Negative Breast Cancer;   Cholangiocarcinoma;   Bile Duct Cancer;   Colon Cancer;   Colon Cancer Stage;   Colon Neoplasm;   Colon Adenocarcinoma;   Colon Rectal Cancer;   Colon Cancer Liver Metastasis;   Colorectal Neoplasms;   Colorectal Carcinoma;   Colorectal Adenocarcinoma;   Colorectal Cancer Metastatic;   Colorectal Cancer Stage IV;   Rectum Cancer;   Rectum Neoplasm;   Rectum Carcinoma;   Rectal Cancer;   Rectal Neoplasms;   Rectal Adenocarcinoma;   Rectal Cancer Stage;   Rectal Cancer Metastatic;   Rectal Cancer Stage III;   Esophagus Cancer;   Esophageal Cancer;   Esophageal Neoplasms;   Gastric Cancer Stage;   Breast Cancer;   Breast Neoplasm;   Breast Adenocarcinoma;   Breast Cancer Stage IV;   Breast Cancer Stage;   Breast Cancer Metastatic;   Breast Cancer Invasive;   Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms;   Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma;   Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma Recurrent;   Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma;   Distal Cholangiocarcinoma;   Ovary Cancer;   Ovary Neoplasm;   Ovary Disease;   Ovary Metastasis;   Ovarian Diseases;   Ovarian Cancer Stage;   Ovarian Epithelial Cancer;   Ovarian Adenocarcinoma;   Ovarian Serous Adenocarcinoma;   Ovarian Neoplasm Epithelial;   Ovarian Cancer Recurrent;   Endometrial Diseases;   Endometrial Adenocarcinoma;   Endometrial Carcinosarcoma;   Endometrial Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma;   Endometrioid Adenocarcinoma;   Endometrial Neoplasms;   Endometrial Cancer Recurrent;   Endometrioid Tumor;   Fallopian Tube Cancer;   Peritoneal CancerIntervention:   Drug: ELU001Sponsor:   Elucida OncologyRecruiting

  • S-1 and Oxaliplatin (SOX) Plus Sintilimab in the Locally Advanced Esophagogastric Junction Adenocarcinoma
    on August 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Locally Advanced Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma;   Chemotherapy EffectInterventions:   Drug: Oxaliplatin+S-1;   Drug: Sinitilimab+oxaliplatin+S-1Sponsors:   Sixth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University;   Sun Yat-sen UniversityRecruiting

  • CPAP or BiPAP for Motion Mitigation During Radiotherapy
    on August 2, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Radiotherapy Side Effect;   NSCLC;   Esophageal Cancer;   Malignant LymphomaIntervention:   Device: CPAPSponsor:   University Medical Center GroningenRecruiting

  • A Study of AK109 and AK104 in Advanced Gastric Adenocarcinoma or Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma
    on July 29, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Gastric Adenocarcinoma and Gastroesophageal Junction AdenocarcinomaInterventions:   Biological: AK104 and AK109;   Drug: PTXSponsor:   AkesoRecruiting

  • Anlotinib for Esophageal Cancer (AFEC)
    on July 19, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Esophageal CancerIntervention:   Drug: AnlotinibSponsor:   Anyang Tumor HospitalRecruiting

  • Spanish Registry of Esophagogastric Cancer
    on July 12, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Esophageal Cancer;   Gastric CancerInterventions:   Procedure: Surgery;   Drug: Chemotherapy, anti-targeted agents and immunotherapy;   Radiation: RadiotherapySponsor:   Fundación Sociedad Española de Oncologia MédicaRecruiting

To participate in a clinical trial, participants are asked to sign an informed consent document. This document outlines all the potential benefits and risks that may arise from the trial, as well as an explanation of the experimental treatment, and what will be expected from the volunteer (i.e., number of visits to the clinic or hospital, any in-patient stays, etc.) Most clinical trials also have inclusion and exclusion criteria that outline who can and cannot participate in the study and why.

If you are interested in participating in an esophageal cancer clinical trial your doctor will be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for one and may help you find a trial in your local area. Clinical trials are conducted by research centers, hospitals, and universities all across the country and many of them are always recruiting new volunteers.

Match to Esophageal Cancer Clinical Trials

  • Access to cutting-edge treatments
  • Latest clinical trials
  • Find trials in your area
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