Meta-analysis: can Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment reduce the risk for gastric cancer?

Ann Intern Med. 2009 Jul 21;151(2):121-8. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-151-2-200907210-00009.


Background: Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with gastric cancer, but the effect of eradication treatment on gastric cancer risk is not well defined.

Purpose: To determine whether H. pylori eradication treatment can reduce the risk for gastric cancer.

Data sources: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, and online clinical trial registers through 31 January 2009, without language restrictions.

Study selection: Randomized trials that compared eradication treatment with no treatment in H. pylori-positive patients and that assessed gastric cancer or progression of preneoplastic lesions during follow-up.

Data extraction: Two authors independently reviewed articles and extracted data.

Data synthesis: Seven studies met inclusion criteria, 1 of which was excluded from pooled analysis because of clinical and methodological heterogeneity. All studies were performed in areas with high incidence of gastric cancer, mostly in Asia. Overall, 37 of 3388 (1.1%) treated patients developed gastric cancer compared with 56 of 3307 (1.7%) untreated (control) participants. In a pooled analysis of 6 studies with a total of 6695 participants followed from 4 to 10 years, the relative risk for gastric cancer was 0.65 (95% CI, 0.43 to 0.98).

Limitations: All studies but 1 were performed in Asia. Only 2 assessed gastric cancer incidence, and only 2 were double-blinded.

Conclusion: Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment seems to reduce gastric cancer risk.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Precancerous Conditions / prevention & control
  • Research Design / standards
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents