Clinical prevention of gastric cancer by Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy: a systematic review

J Gastroenterol. 2009;44(5):365-71. doi: 10.1007/s00535-009-0036-8. Epub 2009 Apr 1.


Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection plays an important role in gastric carcinogenesis. We conducted a systematic review concerning gastric cancer development after H. pylori eradication therapy. In total 15 papers matched our criteria, the results were reviewed. The H. pylori eradication therapy statistically diminished the prevalence of clinical gastric cancer by approximately one-third. The studies from Japan supported this conclusion; however, studies from overseas reported conflicting results. The differences in these conclusions lie in the diagnostic ability of endoscopic examination, since the clinical stage was quite different between these studies. Gastric cancer that developed after eradication revealed a mainly intestinal type histology and depressed-type appearance. The following are possible reasons for reduced gastric cancer: (1) eradication therapy inhibits the new occurrence of gastric cancer, (2) eradication regresses or inhibits the growth of gastric cancer, and (3) eradication interferes with the discovery of gastric cancer. Considering the biological nature of cancer cell proliferation, a sufficiently long-term follow-up may clarify the effect of eradication therapy on inhibition of the development (not discovery) of gastric cancer and reduction of gastric cancer-related mortality.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Helicobacter Infections / complications
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Stomach Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control*