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News

Mass eradication of H pylori infection and gastric cancer prevention

A community-based study of gastric cancer prevention investigates the benefit of mass eradication of H pylori, reports May's issue of Gut.

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Dr Tony Hsiu-Hsi Chen and colleagues from Taiwan evaluated the benefit of mass eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection in reducing premalignant gastric lesions.

Mass eradication of H pylori infection was started from 2004 for a Taiwanese population with prevalent H pylori infection, who were 30 years of age or more.

Participants positive for the 13C-urea breath test underwent endoscopic screening and 1-week clarithromycin-based triple therapy.

For subjects whose initial treatment failed, 10-day levofloxacin-based triple therapy was administered.

The team's main outcome measures were changes in the prevalence of H pylori infection and premalignant gastric lesions, and changes in the incidence of premalignant gastric lesions and gastric cancer before and after chemoprevention using various comparators.

The research team found that the reduction in H pylori infection was 78%, and the estimated incidence of re-infection/recrudescence was 1% per person-year.

The effectiveness of reducing the incidence of gastric atrophy resulting from chemoprevention was significant at 77%, while the reduction in intestinal metaplasia was not significant.

Compared with the 5-year period before chemoprevention and in the absence of endoscopic screening, the effectiveness in reducing gastric cancer incidence during the chemoprevention period was 25%.

The team found that the reduction in peptic ulcer disease was 67%, while the incidence of esophagitis was 6% after treatment.

Dr Chen's team concludes, "Population-based eradication of H pylori infection has led to a significant reduction in gastric atrophy at the expense of increased oesophagitis."

"The ultimate benefit in reducing gastric cancer incidence and its mortality should be validated by a further long-term follow-up."

Gut 2013; 62: 676-682
03 April 2013

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