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Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer.

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Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.


Gastric cancer remains a major health burden on many societies claiming hundreds of thousands of lives every year. The discovery of Helicobacter pylori has no doubt revolutionised our understanding of this malignancy, which is now regarded as a paradigm for infection-induced chronic inflammation-mediated cancer. In this paper, we discuss the evidence for the association between H. pylori and gastric adenocarcinoma and MALT lymphoma. We also discuss the pathogenesis of these two forms of cancer and the factors that determine their outcome. There is no doubt that the knowledge accumulated over the past two decades will be translated into eventual victory over this killer cancer, largely because we now appreciate that the best way to prevent the cancer is by preventing acquisition of the infection in the first place, or by eradicating the infection in infected subjects. Defining the optimal timing of intervention is going to be the challenge facing us over the next two decades.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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