JCVI: Research / Projects / Progression of Esophageal Cancer / Overview
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Progression of Esophageal Cancer


The distal esophagus is an important anatomic locus where gastric acid reflux causes several conditions that can lead to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA), the incidence of which has increased 6-fold in the U.S. since the 1970s. The goal of this study is to investigate the microbial factors that contribute to the development of EA. From our preliminary analyses, we have identified two different two types of microbiotas in the distal esophagus.

Working with our collaborator Zhiheng Pei at New York University, we have enlarged this study to recruit a few hundred volunteers from whom we are obtaining samples to investigate the relationships, if any, between the microbiome and disease. The microbiome is being investigated through 16S rRNA gene sequencing on the 454 pyrosequencing platform and with metagenomic sequencing with the Illumina platform. This study is being funded through the NIH Roadmap initiative to investigate the Human Microbiome (HMP).


Goll J, Rusch DB, et al.
METAREP: JCVI Metagenomics Reports--an Open Source Tool for High-performance Comparative Metagenomics.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). 2010 Oct 15; 26: 2631-2.[more]

Pei, A. Y., Oberdorf, W. E., et al.
Diversity of 16S RRNA Genes Within Individual Prokaryotic Genomes

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Jun 01; 76(12): 3886-3897.[more]


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Principal Investigator

Karen E. Nelson


Zhiheng Pei
NYU School of Medicine