Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 971–981 | Cite as

Age effects and temporal trends in adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastric cardia (United States)

  • Jihyoun Jeon
  • E. Georg Luebeck
  • Suresh H. MoolgavkarEmail author
Original Paper


A number of hypotheses have been advanced to explain the rapid increase of the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma in the US. A major problem in identifying and understanding the nature of this increase is the difficulty in untangling age effects from temporal trends due to cohort and period effects. To address this problem, we have developed multi-stage carcinogenesis models that describe the age-specific incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and of the gastric cardia with separate adjustments for temporal trends. These models explicitly incorporate important features of the cancers, such as the metaplastic conversion of normal esophagus to Barrett’s esophagus (BE). We fit these models separately to the incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and of the gastric cardia reported in the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry over the period 1973–2000. We conclude that the incidence of both cancers is consistent with a sequence that posits a tissue conversion step in the target organ followed by a multi-stage process with three rate-limiting events, the first two leading to an initiated cell that can expand clonally into a premalignant lesion, and the third converting an initiated cell into a malignant cell. Temporal trends in the incidence of both cancers are dominated by dramatically increasing period effects.


Multi-stage model Esophageal adenocarcinoma Barrett’s esophagus Adenocarcinoma of gastric cardia SEER Age–period–cohort models 



This study was supported by NIH grant RO1 CA047658, and RO1 CA119224-01. We also would like to thank Dr. Carlo Maley (Wistar Institute) for helpful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jihyoun Jeon
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Georg Luebeck
    • 2
  • Suresh H. Moolgavkar
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Applied MathematicsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Modeling and MethodsFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA

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