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Covidien announces results from SURF trial using Barrx RF Ablation System

Healthcare products provider Covidien has announced that the results from SUrveillance vs. RadioFrequency ablation (SURF) trial showed that the endoscopic ablation therapy using the Barrx RF Ablation System eliminates Barrett's esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition of the esophagus.

The study was entitled as Radiofrequency Ablation in Barrett’s Esophagus with Confirmed Low-Grade Dysplasia: Results of a European Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial (SURF).

The trial included 136 patients with Barrett’s esophagus containing confirmed low-grade dysplasia.

The primary endpoint of the trial was a comparison of the risk of disease progression over time between the ablation and control groups.

Academic Medical Center, the Netherlands, Endoscopy director Jacques Bergman said that in patients with Barrett’s esophagus containing confirmed low-grade dysplasia, endoscopic ablation significantly reduced disease progression to high-grade dysplasia and esophageal cancer, as compared to surveillance alone.

"The difference in the disease progression outcome between the two groups was so large, in fact, that the data safety monitoring board overseeing the trial recommended early stoppage of the trial, and patients in the control group will now be offered endoscopic ablation," Bergman added.

Covidien Chief Medical Officer David Utley said that this trial adds very important new information to the management algorithm for patients with Barrett’s esophagus containing confirmed low-grade dysplasia.

"We believe that this randomized, controlled trial provides the highest level of evidence that disease progression in this population is high over two years when observation alone is employed, and that this progression risk can be significantly reduced if the patient is treated proactively with endoscopic ablation," Utley added.