08 May 2013
Vol 5, Issue 184

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Keeping an Eye on the Esophagus. Barrett's esophagus is characterized by flat, premalignant regions in the lower part of the esophagus where the organ meets up with the stomach (in red on the cover). These regions, caused by chronic inflammation such as heartburn, are often a precursor to esophageal adenocarcinoma—a cancer with a mortality rate of nearly 85%. To detect this deadly cancer early, Sturm et al. designed a fluorescently labeled peptide that recognizes and binds to Barrett's esophagus. The peptide signaled the presence of the precancerous tissue in patients after simply spraying on the surface and imaging with a clinical endoscope. [CREDIT: PIXOLOGICSTUDIO/ISTOCKPHOTO]