Many researchers have reported the inverse relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and esophageal adenocarcinoma risk.
Very few studies have examined the association between H pylori infection and the development of esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma.
Dr Wu and colleagues from Taiwan evaluated the relationship between H pylori infection and esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma risk.
The researchers included subjects with cancer, pathologically proven to have esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma, in two large medical centers in Kaohsiung metropolitan of southern Taiwan between August 2000 and May 2003.
The research team involved controls from the healthy subjects who lived in the Kaohsiung metropolitan and voluntarily participated in one large multiyear of gene-environmental study.
In total, 127 cases (116 males and 11 females) and 171 controls (161 males and 10 females) were recruited in the same period of time for interviews.
| Subjects with cancer lesions in the lower third of the esophagus had fewer positive H pylori infections than controls|
| The American Journal of Gastroenterology |
The investigators determined H Pylori seropositivity by an enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay measuring Immunoglobulin G.
The researchers reported that a total of 28 (22%) and 74 (43%) out of 127 cases and 171 controls, respectively, had positive H pylori infection.
After adjusting for other covariates, the investigators showed that subjects with positive H pylori infections had a significantly reduced risk of developing esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma than those without.
The investigative team noted that this result was even more pronounced in the groups of younger subjects, nonsmokers, or nondrinkers.
In addition, among the 117 cancer patients who provided information about site of cancer lesion, the researchers found that subjects with cancer lesions in the lower third of the esophagus had significantly fewer positive H pylori infections than controls.
Dr Wu concludes, “Our findings suggest that H pylori infection may protect against the development of esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma.”
“Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings.”