What is the risk for gastric cancer with genes and infections? Elizabeth Tracey reports


A combination of certain genes and infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori increases the risk for gastric or stomach cancer, a new study finds. Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson at Johns Hopkins says that risk is sometimes substantial.

Nelson: if you carry one of these variants of the genes that would put your at increased risk and you had an H.pylori infection you had an almost 46% cumulative lifetime risk if you will to get stomach cancer versus just had one or the other you’re down well below 15%. If you carry one of these variant genes you can be concerned about your stomach cancer risk. If you carry one of these variants and you have H. pylori the most likely time you will develop stomach cancer is in your sixties so it tells you when to look. Ever more evidence that H. pylori in the stomach isn’t helpful.   :33

Nelson says treating the infection should be studied, however, before it can be recommended. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.