According to a recent study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology, eradicating the bacteria Heliobacter pylori in patients with peptic ulcer disease reduces the risk for developing gastric cancer for more than 10 years, but that gastric cancer can develop after that time period.
These results are part of a follow-up prospective cohort study in which patients were followed for as long as 17.4 years. Researchers previously reported that eradicating Heliobacter pylori in patients with peptic ulcer disease decreases the risk for developing stomach cancer to about 33% after an average follow-up of 3.4 years.
For the study, 1,222 patients with peptic ulcer disease who received over 1 year of follow-up after being treated for H. pylori received an annual endoscopy for an average of 9.9 years and for as long as 17.4 years.
Of the 1,222 patients, 1,030 were successfully cured of H. pylori and gastric cancer occurred in 21 of those patients. Of the 192 who were not successfully cured of H. pylori, 9 developed the disease. Statistical analyses show that the risk for developing gastric cancer was 0.21%/year and 0.45%/year in the eradication-success group and failure group, respectively.
Of those that developed gastric cancer in the eradication-success group, the longest interval between eradication and cancer occurrence was 14.5 years.
The authors previously reported that eradication of Helicobacter pylori in the cohort of patients with peptic ulcer disease reduced their risk of developing gastric cancer to approximately one–third after a mean follow-up period of 3.4 years (up to 8.6 years) and now followed these patients for a longer period.
A prophylactic effect for gastric cancer persists for more than 10 years after H. pylori eradication therapy, but they should be aware that cancer can develop even after that interval.