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World J Gastrointest Oncol. 2010 Jun 15;2(6):265-71. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v2.i6.265.

Role of interleukin polymorphisms in gastric cancer: "Pros and cons".

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  • 1Francesco Perri, Fulvia Terracciano, Marco Gentile, Antonio Merla, Daniela Scimeca, Department of Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy, "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza" Hospital, IRCCS, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), Italy.


Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is the leading cause of gastric cancer worldwide. Infection with this bacterium causes a chronic active immune response that persists for the life of the host. The combination of bacterial factors, environmental insults, and the host immune response drives the initiation and progression of mucosal atrophy, metaplasia, and dysplasia toward GC. Among the host factors, IL-1 gene cluster polymorphisms (IL-1B encoding IL-1β and IL-1RN encoding IL-1ra, its naturally occurring receptor antagonist) play a decisive role in modulating the risk of developing hypochlorhydria, gastric atrophy and GC in the presence of H. pylori infection. In particular, one single nucleotide polymorphism in the IL-1B promoter (IL-1B-511C⁄T), and the short allele of a 86-bp variable number of tandem repeats polymorphism in the IL-1RN second intron (IL-1RN*2) are associated with an increased risk for GC. However this hypothesis is still to be fully confirmed. This review focuses on the divergent results obtained by several epidemiological and functional in vitro and in vivo studies and show that IL-1 genotyping has still no role in the clinical management of patients with H. pylori infection.


Cytokine; Gastric cancer; Gene; Helicobacter pylori; Interleukin; Polymorphism

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