A systematic review and meta-analysis of the role of Helicobacter pylori eradication in preventing gastric cancer

Authors Theodore Rokkas, Androniki Rokka, Piero Portincasa.


Background Increasing evidence has suggested that Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) eradication might prevent the development of gastric cancer (GC). This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to better explore the role of H. pylori eradication in preventing GC, with particular reference to patients with precancerous lesions at baseline histology.

Methods Searches for human studies were performed through October 2016 and risk ratios (RRs), were obtained. Heterogeneity between studies was estimated using the Cochran Q test and I2 values, whereas the possibility of publication bias was estimated with funnel plots. Additionally, we performed subgroup and sensitivity analyses.

Results In 26 studies suitable for meta-analysis (10 randomized controlled trials and 16 cohort studies) 52,363 subjects were included. The risk of GC among patients in whom H. pylori was successfully eradicated was significantly lower than that among controls: pooled RRs [95% CI] 0.56 [0.48-0.66], Z= -7.27, P=0.00001. This finding applied separately for randomized controlled trials (0.65 [0.51-0.84], Z= -3.33, P=0.0009) and for cohort studies (0.51 [0.42-0.62], Z= -6.63, P=0.00001). Concerning H. pylori eradication in patients with precancerous lesions, subgroup analyses showed that patients with non-atrophic or atrophic gastritis benefited from H. pylori eradication for the risk of GC development, whereas those with intestinal metaplasia or dysplasia did not.

Conclusion H. pylori eradication is associated with a significantly lower risk of GC; this finding has significant implications for the prevention of this cancer. The benefit is maximized when H. pylori eradication is applied at early stages of the infection.

Keywords H. pylori, eradication, gastric cancer, prevention, meta-analysis

Ann Gastroenterol 2017; 30 (4): 414-423

Original Articles