Bug That Causes Stomach Cancer Could Play a Role in Colorectal Cancer

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
rendering of bacteria

H. pylori infection is associated with colorectal cancer risk, especially in African-Americans

 A bacterium known for causing stomach cancer might also increase the risk of certain colorectal cancers, particularly among African Americans, according to a study led by Duke Cancer Institute researchers.

The finding, published online Oct. 5 in the journal Gastroenterology, describes an association between antibodies to H. pylori bacteria and an increased risk of colorectal cancers, although it does not establish the bacteria as a definitive cause; those studies are ongoing.

But in an analysis of more than 4,000 colorectal cancer cases culled from large, diverse cohort studies, the researchers found a significant correlation between colorectal cancer incidence and those who had been infected with a virulent strain of H. pylori that is especially common among African Americans.

“The link between infection and cancer is intriguing, particularly if we can eradicate it with a simple round of antibiotics,” said lead author Meira Epplein, Ph.D., co-leader of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at Duke Cancer Institute. “Our study provides strong evidence that we need to pursue this research to establish a definitive cause-and-effect.”

Read entire article at Duke Health News