Clinical Trial of the Week: New treatment trial for patients with Barrett’s esophagus

By Donna Loyle, communications specialist, LIMR

Researchers seek to determine if administration of the nutritional supplement zinc gluconate can help patients who have been diagnosed with dysplasia related to Barrett’s esophagus (BE) and have undergone at least one radiofrequency ablation (RFA) at least four weeks before enrolling in the study.

The neosquamous epithelium forming after RFA has been observed to be a leaky barrier to acid, raising issues for subsequent reappearance of Barrett’s foci, as well as potential neoplastic changes in the squamous epithelium itself. The investigators seek to understand if orally administered zinc gluconate can modify the junctional claudin proteins in neosquamous epithelium, resulting in a barrier less leaky to acid (and therefore less subject to acid damage) making for a more stable tissue lining.

There are two treatment arms:

  • Arm 1: Takes two zinc gluconate lozenges (each 13.3 mg zinc) BID for 14 days before follow-up endoscopy
  • Arm 2 (control): Takes two placebo (sodium gluconate) lozenges (each 4.7 mg sodium) BID

The principal investigators for trial #R18-3817L, which is available at Lankenau Medical Center, are Robert Etemad, MD, and James Mullin, PhD. For more information, visit


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