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Treating helicobacter bacteria after gastric cancer surgery lifts survival rate
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2020.06.03 16:05
  • Updated 2020.06.03 17:54
  • comments 0

A research team at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital has discovered that treating helicobacter pylori after gastric cancer surgery can increase patients’ survival rates and reduce the risk of death and recurrence of cancer.

Professor Kim Na-young

The team, led by Professor Kim Na-young, conducted a study on 1,031 patients infected with helicobacter bacteria among those at the early and advanced stages of gastric cancer and treated at the hospital from 2003 to 2017. Of the 1,031 patients, 451 patients underwent helicobacter sterilization treatment successfully, but the rest did not receive the sterile treatment or did so to no avail.

The researchers confirmed an overall survival rate of 96.5 percent in the antibacterialized group compared to the 79.9 percent in the non-sterile group during an observational period of 15 years. The gastric cancer-related survival rates were 97.6 and 92.5 percent, respectively.

"Notably, the effect of improving survival rate was confirmed in advanced gastric cancer as well as in early gastric cancer," the team said. "Early gastric cancer has a relatively good prognosis, so there may be no significant difference in long-term survival, but the difference in survival rate in advanced gastric cancer was noticeable."

In the two groups' mortality analysis, the risk of death in the antibacterialized group was also lower than that of the sterile group, the team added. The overall risk of death and the risk of death from gastric cancer were 5.86 times and 3.41 times higher, respectively, in the non-sterile group than the antibacterialized group.

Based on the results, the team conducted a multivariate analysis and found that the risk of recurrence in the non-bacterial group was 2.7 times higher, suggesting that helicobacter sterilization treatment could suppress cancer recurrence.

"In addition to its effects on stomach tissue, helicobacter bacteria can also cause adult diseases such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes," Professor Kim said. "It is noteworthy that helicobacter bacterium treatment can have a positive effect on both gastric cancer and systemic health, as it reduces the risk of cancer recurrence and increases the survival rate."

The insurance benefits are now given to only early gastric cancer patients. Still, advanced gastric cancer patients should also be able to receive the benefits as it can contribute to improving their survival rates, she added.

Gastric Cancer published the result of the study.


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