Esophagus to Small Intestine
Effect of Helicobacter pylori eradication on gastric cancer prevention: Updated report from a randomized controlled trial with 26.5 years of follow-up
Background and aims: Helicobacter pylori infection is considered as the most important risk factor in the pathogenesis of gastric cancer (GC). This study aims to evaluate the long-term effects of H. pylori eradication treatment on the incidence and mortality of GC among a high-risk population.
Methods: This prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in a high-risk area in southern China in July 1994. A total of 1630 asymptomatic, H. pylori-infected individuals were randomly assigned to receive standard triple therapy for H. pylori eradication (n = 817) or placebo (n = 813), and were followed up until December 2020. The primary outcome was incidence of GC. Total and cause-specific mortalities were the secondary outcomes.
Results: During 26.5 years of follow-up, 21 participants (2.57%) in the treatment arm and 35 (4.31%) in the placebo arm were diagnosed with GC. Participants receiving H. pylori treatment had a lower incidence of GC compared with their placebo counterparts (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.33–0.98). More obvious risk reduction was observed among those without premalignant gastric lesions (HR = 0.37; 95% CI: 0.15–0.95) and those without dyspepsia symptoms at baseline (HR = 0.44; 95% CI: 0.21–0.94). Furthermore, compared with 32 cases of GC observed among 527 participants with persistent H. pylori infection in the placebo group, only 16 were identified in 625 subjects with successful eradication in the treatment group (HR = 0.46; 95% CI: 0.26–0.83). However, there were no statistically significant differences for any mortality end points between the 2 groups.
Conclusions: Eradication of Helicobacter pylori might confer a long-term protection against gastric cancer in high-risk populations, especially for infected individuals without precancerous gastric lesions at baseline.