Background: Epidemiologic studies have consistently shown an association between Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer, and it is now widely accepted that this organism plays a role in the pathogenesis of this tumor. Nevertheless, there are discrepant results on its relationship with the histologic type and location of gastric cancer within the stomach. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of H. pylori in a group of gastric cancer patients and the association between H. pylori and specific histologic types of gastric cancer and tumor location within the stomach.
Methods: Systemic IgG antibodies against H. pylori were assayed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique in 48 patients (male to female ratio, 31:17; age range, 39-88 years; mean, 69 years) with histologically confirmed gastric cancer and 50 controls (male to female ratio, 33:17; age range, 40-77 years, mean, 64 years).
Results: Thirty-one cases of gastric cancer were of the intestinal type, and 12 of the diffuse type; the remaining 5 were unclassified. Thirteen gastric cancers were located in the distal stomach (antrum/pylorus), 12 in the body, and 5 in the proximal stomach (cardia/fundus); the remaining 17 were unclassified because the tumor extended towards more than one location. The overall seroprevalence of H. pylori in patients with gastric cancer and controls was 85.4% and 66%, respectively (P < 0.05). The seroprevalence increased with increasing age in cancer patients, but the difference was not significant. H. pylori seroprevalence among patients with the intestinal type of gastric cancer was higher than in those with the diffuse type (P < 0.05). The prevalence of H. pylori infection was higher among patients with the cancer located distally than in those with the cancer located proximally (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: H. pylori seroprevalence was higher in gastric cancer patients than in controls. The prevalence of H. pylori infection in intestinal-type gastric cancer was clearly higher than in the diffuse type and in the control group. An association was found between H. pylori infection and tumors located distally (antrum/pylorus).