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English

Bacteria responsible for stomach cancer could be controlled

Novel research is reassessing the way to treat gastritis and to timely detect tumors produced by Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria primarily responsible for most chronic gastritis cases and at least for 90% of stomach cancers.

Bogotá D. C., 19 de mayo de 2016Agencia de Noticias UN-

Gastritis imagery showcased by Pathologist Orlando Ricaurte.

Histology slide showing biopsies analyzed at the Laboratory of Pathology.

UNal Department of Pathology Professor Orlando Ricaurte.

Professor William Otero has been awarded several recognitions for his research on Helicobacter pylori.

Tests to timely prevent gastric cancer tests will be performed at the UNal University Hospital.

More than 60% of Colombians are carriers of this bacterium which measures between 2.5 and 4 microns (µm) and has a diameter of 0.5 µm. 

All people infected by this microorganism, which generally is contracted during the first five years of age suffer from chronic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach mucous); of these 15% will have stomach or duodenum ulcer and between 2% to 3% gastric cancer. 

The bacteria is generally acquired in two forms: oral-oral (vomit) or fecal–oral (through contaminated food or  hands); 98% of gastric cancer patients have it; therefore detecting it on time could avoid fatalities, as the world has close to one million new cases of stomach cancers per year. 

The bacteria is harbored in the gastric mucous and sporadically  produces nuisances but when it produces ulcers and tumors it manifests with symptoms such as a feeling of fullness, lack of appetite, anemia, weight loss, pain in the pit of the stomach or bleeding. 

Among the researchers who are searching for an effective and premature treatment against this infection is Professor William Otero whom is part of the team who received the National Colombian Award for Digestive Endoscopy for their findings on chronic gastritis and identifying people with greater risk of having gastric cancer keeping a close watch on them and detecting it on time. 

The UNal graduate work of Diana Lucía Martínez in Anatomic and Clinic Pathology directed by Pathologist and Professor Orlando Ricaurte, established that performing five biopsies suggested since 1990 by the Sydney System for applying the Operative Link on Gastritis Assessment (OLGA), it is possible to detect more cases of serious or extensive gastritis than when more biopsies are carried out. 

This method proposed in 2007 by an international group of pathologists and gastroenterologists, gauges the severity of the stomach atrophy (precancerous condition) in five levels (0 to IV). 

For the epidemiological “cases and controls” study the researchers analyzed two groups of patients studied at the UNal Department of Pathology. The reviewed 1,410 patient reports which had had 5 biopsies for the OLGA system; furthermore 4,191 for patients with less than 5. 

Using the OLGA staging system they identified atrophy in 42% of the patients versus 26% who had been taken less biopsies. Furthermore they established that 12 out of 100 patients of the greatest group had advanced stages (III or IV), which called for yearly digestive endoscopies to detect possible stomach cancer on time and avoid advanced stages, which has reduced possibilities of healing. 

In 88% of the cases, the atrophy stages were between 0 and II, therefore they did not require endoscopic surveillance as they had less risk of having gastric cancer. Even so, Professor Otero said that in Colombia no less than 20,000 unnecessary endoscopies are performed every year. 

The researchers agree that based on the surprising results obtained at the UNal University Hospital taking 5 biopsies will be compulsory when performing endoscopies to assess the extension of gastritis cases. 

The progress achieved with this research enables closing the gap on this bacteria discovered in 1982 in Australia by Drs. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, for which they were bestowed the 2005 Medicine Nobel Prize. 

Read the article in its entirety in Spanish at UN Periódico

(Por: Fin/MLA/APBL
)
N.° 732

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