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Cancer Lett. 2009 Sep 8;282(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.11.016. Epub 2008 Dec 25.

Helicobacter pylori virulence factors in gastric carcinogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, 593 Eddy Street, Providence, RI 02903, USA.


Helicobacter pylori infection is the most important risk factor in the development of non-cardia gastric adenocarcinoma; host genetic variability and dietary co-factors also modulate risk. Because most H. pylori infections do not cause cancer, H. pylori heterogeneity has been investigated to identify possible virulence factors. The strongest candidates are genes within the cag (cytotoxin-associated antigen) pathogenicity island, including the gene encoding the CagA protein, as well as polymorphic variation in the VacA vacuolating exotoxin and the blood group antigen binding adhesin BabA. Improved understanding of the pathogenesis of H. pylori-associated gastric cancer may improve risk stratification for prevention and therapy.

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