Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is associated with an increased risk of gastric adenocarcinoma and gastric mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma and a decreased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma. We aimed to assess how eradication therapy for H. pylori influences the risk of developing these cancers.
Methods: This was a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and the Cochrane Library and selected articles that examined the risk of gastric cancer, MALT lymphoma, or esophageal cancer following eradication therapy, compared with a noneradicated control group.
Results: Among 3629 articles that were considered, nine met the inclusion criteria. Of these, eight cohort studies assessed gastric cancer while one randomized trial assessed esophageal cancer. Out of 12 899 successfully eradicated patients, 119 (0.9%) developed gastric cancer, compared with 208 (1.1%) out of 18 654 noneradicated patients. The pooled relative risk of gastric cancer in all eight studies was 0.46 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.32 to 0.66, I(2) = 32.3%) favoring eradication therapy. The four studies adjusting for time of follow-up and confounders showed a relative risk of 0.46 (95% CI = 0.29 to 0.72, I(2) = 44.4%).
Conclusions: This systematic review and meta-analysis indicates that eradication therapy for H. pylori prevents gastric cancer. There was insufficient literature for meta-analysis of MALT lymphoma or esophageal cancer.
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