Gastric cancer: an infectious disease

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2010 Dec;24(4):853-69, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2010.07.010.


The role of infectious agents and chronic inflammation in carcinogenesis is being increasingly recognized. It has been estimated that about 18% of cancers are directly linked to infections, particularly gastric adenocarcinoma (Helicobacter pylori), cervical carcinoma (human papilloma viruses), and hepatocarcinoma (hepatitis B and C viruses). Multiple clinical trials of COX-2 inhibitors and other antiinflammatory agents have shown a beneficial effect on the development of diverse tumors, such as those of the colon, stomach, prostate, and breast. However, their mechanism of action is not completely understood and may differ among the infectious agents and tumor types. Because gastric adenocarcinomas account for more than 90% of all gastric malignancies, this review focuses on adenocarcinomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Gastric Mucosa / microbiology
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Global Health
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology