H. pylori May Play Role in Some Cases of Cardia Cancer

Findings indicate two etiologies of cardia cancer

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although Helicobacter pylori infection is thought to be unrelated to cardia cancer, or possibly to lower the risk of the disease, some cases of cardia cancer appear to be associated with H. pylori-related atrophic gastritis, according to a study in the July issue of Gut.

Kenneth E.L. McColl, M.D., of the University of Glasgow in the U.K., and colleagues conducted a case-control study of 129 non-cardia and 44 cardia cancers, each matched with three controls. Serum samples collected a mean 11.9 years before cancer diagnosis were tested for H. pylori antibodies, pepsinogen I:II and gastrin.

There was a positive association between non-cardia cancer and H. pylori and gastric atrophy, whereas there was a negative association between cardia cancer and H. pylori. However, in cases of H. pylori-positive cardia cancer, there was an association with gastric atrophy. Intestinal:diffuse ratios were similar in cardia cancer patients with atrophy, whereas cardia cancers in patients without atrophy were predominantly intestinal.

"These findings indicate two etiologies of cardia cancer, one associated with H. pylori atrophic gastritis, resembling non-cardia cancer, and the other associated with non-atrophic gastric mucosa, resembling esophageal adenocarcinoma. Serological markers of gastric atrophy may provide the key to determining gastric versus esophageal origin of cardia cancer," the authors conclude.

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