An American Cancer Society researcher has discovered a genetic link to esophageal cancer. Clinical Research Professor Charis Eng, MD, PhD, has identified three genetic mutations that are more common in people with disorders of the esophagus, including cancer.

Dr. Eng and her research team found evidence that genetics may be a risk factor in some cases of esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus, a condition linked to esophageal cancer. The findings could eventually help identify people at greater risk of developing these diseases, so they could be screened to catch any cancer at an earlier stage when it’s more easily treated.