Relatives of gastric cancer patients have an increased risk of gastric cancer.
This may be due to genetically-related strains of Helicobacter pylori, or a common environment.
|Relatives can have a totally different pattern of gastritis, even when infected with identical organisms.|
In this study, researchers from Korea compared the pattern of gastritis and H. pylori from gastric cancer patients, and their first-degree relatives.
The research team used detailed DNA fingerprints and vacA, cagA, and iceA genotyping.
They studied 16 index cases from Korea, the US, or Colombia and their 38 first-degree relatives (brothers, sisters, sons and daughters).
The team found no definite, or consistent, relationship between the pattern of gastritis and the relatedness of the H. pylori strain.
Relatives could have a totally different pattern of gastritis even if they were infected with identical, or highly similar, organisms.
In one example, 3 elderly siblings of an index case with atrophic pangastritis had identical H. pylori isolates and environments in childhood. However, 2 had antral predominant nonatrophic gastritis. This is typically associated with duodenal ulcer, not of gastric cancer.
Dr Li Li’s team concluded, “The results of this study are not consistent with the hypothesis that specific virulence factors or similar H. pylori strains correlate with a specific histologic pattern or outcome even among those sharing the same environment in childhood”.