need more evidence /Study
H. pylori Eradication Therapy Lowers Risk for Gastric Cancer in High-Risk Adults — Physician’s First Watch
H. pylori Eradication Therapy Lowers Risk for Gastric Cancer in High-Risk Adults
By Cara Adler
Eradicating Helicobacter pylori in asymptomatic, healthy adults reduces the incidence of subsequent gastric cancer, according to a meta-analysis in BMJ.
Researchers identified six randomized, controlled trials that assessed the effect of eradication therapy on gastric cancer incidence 2 or more years later in adults who tested positive for H. pylori but had no symptoms and were healthy. A variety of eradication therapies were used. Control groups received placebo or no therapy.
In a pooled analysis of some 6500 patients, the incidence of gastric cancer was 1.6% among those who received eradication therapy and 2.4% among controls (relative risk, 0.66). Of note, only one trial was conducted in a non-Asian population, and it showed no benefit.
The authors conclude: "It seems likely that the benefit of searching for and eradicating H. pylori in healthy asymptomatic individuals will outweigh any potential harms, especially in populations at high risk of gastric cancer. However, results from further trials in different populations are urgently needed."
Reader Comments (2)
Although decreasing the incidence of gastric cancer is a laudable goal, the findings of this study are only applicable to an eastern Asian population, as noted by the authors. Therefore, the eradication of H. pyori for this purpose might only be considered for a population at particularly high risk for gastric cancer. Unfortunately, widespread use of antibiotic therapy to eradicate H. Pylori quite likely will result to the problem of increasing antibiotic resistance by this organism. As has often been the case over the long term, we may find that the "bugs" (bacteria, viruses, etc) are "smarter" then we are.