H. pylori antigens may point to gastric cancer
Certain Heliobacter pylori antigens may be of use as surrogate markers of gastric carcinoma, German researchers report. The researchers also observe that although the risks of such diseases are slight, these ailments appear to be clinically divergent. People with duodenal ulcers seem to be at lower risk of gastric carcinoma.
Dr. Peter R. Jungblut of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin and colleagues note in the January 20th issue of the International Journal of Cancer that H. pylori colonizes the stomach of almost 50% of humans. The organism is a causative agent of gastric carcinoma and of duodenal ulcers.As part of the process of developing serological markers that might be of use in identifying the diseases, the researchers used an immunoproteomic approach to examine sera from H. pylori infected patients. Of these, 30 had duodenal ulcers and 30 had gastric carcinoma. Clear groups of patients were identified according to antigen recognition patterns. However, this did not correspond with clinical status.Nevertheless, the researchers did identify 14 antigenic protein species that differed significantly between diseases. Furthermore, a group of 5 protein species applied retrospectively allowed discrimination of the two groups of patients with 77% sensitivity and 83% specificity.”Although this confidence level is far from being satisfactory,” the investigators conclude, “the result shows that a diagnostic test to distinguish between H. pylori infected gastric carcinoma and duodenal ulcer patients may be achievable.”(Source: Int J Cancer 2004;108:456-463: Reuters Health: February 16, 2004: Oncolink)