Researchers at the Duke University Cancer Institute have found that H. pylori may lead to an increased risk of colorectal cancer, especially for people with color. People of color are more likely to be diagnosed and die of colorectal cancer.
The researchers further explored the link between H. pylori and colorectal cancer. More than half of the world’s population is infected with Helicobacter pylori, bacteria can cause gastric cancer and gastric ulcers. Researchers at Duke University collected samples from subjects of different races and checked antibody levels before cancer developed. Half of the more than 8,000 study participants continue to develop colorectal cancer. To determine whether the presence of antibodies increased the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer, the researchers compared the frequency of antibodies between cancer and non-cancer subjects. They observed similar rates of past infections in the two groups. As a result, a higher percentage of black and Latino subjects had H. pylori antibodies. This finding is consistent in both cancer and non-cancer tissues. Antibodies specific for Helicobacter pylori proteins are most commonly found in different ethnic groups. Most importantly, a high-level antibody to the H. pylori protein-VacA protein is closely related to the incidence of colorectal cancer in African-American and Asian Americans.
The association between H. pylori and colorectal cancer plays a role in people of color and can significantly affect treatment options, action plans, and public health differences related to cancer. Medical professionals can identify high-risk people with colorectal cancer based on the status of Helicobacter pylori and reduce the incidence of cancer through treatment.