According to a new study by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, patients with Barrett's esophagus and early or pre-cancerous cells have been shown to significantly benefit from minimally invasive therapy delivered through an endoscope – a medical instrument used to look inside an organ or cavity in the body. Until recently, patients with these conditions were treated by surgery to remove the whole esophagus. Study results show that endoscope-based therapies have a high success rate; all of the damaged cells were removed in up to 95 percent of cases, greatly reducing the chances of cancer progression. Additionally, in over two-thirds of cases, patients had no biological signs of the return of disease for years. The study appears in the February issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. "This study is one of only a few that focuses on the long-term effects of minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of Barrett's esophagus," said Gregory G. Ginsberg, MD, professor of Medicine and director of Endoscopic Services at Penn Medicine, and corresponding author on the study. "We examined patients from as far back as 1998 and had an average follow-up of nearly three years. This gives us a more complete measure of assessing the longer-term benefits of these types of intervention."