Helicobacter species ribosomal DNA in the pancreas, stomach and duodenum of pancreatic cancer patients

World J Gastroenterol. 2006 May 21;12(19):3038-43. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i19.3038.


Aim: To determine whether gastric and enteric Helicobacter species are associated with pancreatic cancer.

Methods: Patients with exocrine pancreatic cancer (n = 40), neuroendocrine cancer (n = 14), multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (n = 8), and chronic pancreatitis (n = 5) were studied. Other benign pancreatic diseases (n = 10) and specimens of normal pancreas (n = 7) were included as controls. Pancreatic tissue specimens were analyzed by Helicobacter-specific PCR-assay and products were characterized by denaturing gradient electrophoresis and DNA-sequencing. From a subset of the pancreatic cancer patients, gastric and/or duodenal tissue as well as gallbladder and ductus choledochus tissue were analyzed. Gallbladder and choledochus samples were included as controls. Stomach and duodenum samples were investigated to analyze whether a gastric helicobacter might disseminate to the pancreas in pancreatic cancer patients. Pancreatic specimens were analyzed by Bacteroides-specific PCR for detecting the translocation of indigenous gut microbes to the diseased pancreas.

Results: Helicobacter DNA was detected in pancreas (tumor and/or surrounding tissue) of 75% of patients with exocrine cancer, 57% of patients with neuroendocrine cancer, 38% of patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia, and 60% of patients with chronic pancreatitis. All samples from other benign pancreatic diseases and normal pancreas were negative. Thirty-three percent of the patients were helicobacter-positive in gastroduodenal specimens. Surprisingly, H. bilis was identified in 60% of the positive gastroduodenal samples. All gallbladder and ductus choledochus specimens were negative for helicobacter. Bacteroides PCR-assay was negative for all pancreatic samples.

Conclusion: Helicobacter DNA commonly detected in pancreatic cancer suggests a possible role of the emerging pathogens in the development of chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacteroides / genetics
  • Bacteroides / physiology
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / microbiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Common Bile Duct / chemistry
  • Common Bile Duct / microbiology
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Duodenum / chemistry*
  • Duodenum / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gallbladder / chemistry
  • Gallbladder / microbiology
  • Helicobacter / genetics*
  • Helicobacter / physiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications
  • Helicobacter Infections / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 / etiology
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 / genetics
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 / microbiology*
  • Pancreas / chemistry*
  • Pancreas / microbiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stomach / chemistry*
  • Stomach / microbiology


  • DNA, Ribosomal