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H. pylori linked to colorectal cancer development in a large, European study lead by Dr. David Hughes

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common diagnosed cancer worldwide and the fourth most common cause of cancer death. It is a major cancer type expected to be particularly related to disturbances in the gut microbiome constituents, but there is a need to establish information on how gut microbes may influence disease course and prognosis. While Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the major cause of gastric cancer, it has also been suggested to be involved in CRC development. However, it remains unclear if this microbe is involved in the initiation of CRC. In the present study, we assessed whether antibody responses to H. pylori are associated with CRC risk in pre-diagnostic serum samples taken from 485 CRC cases and 485 matched controls in the detailed European Prospective Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer (EPIC) study lead by Dr. David Hughes. We applied a multiplex serology assay to simultaneously measure antibody responses to 13 H. pylori antigens. In this large, prospective multi-center European study, we observed that antibody responses to H. pylori proteins, specifically HcpC and VacA, were associated with increased risk of developing CRC. Biological mechanisms for a potential causal role of H. pylori in colorectal carcinogenesis need to be elucidated, and subsequently whether H. pylori eradication may decrease CRC incidence.

Butt J, Jenab M, Pawlita M, TjønnelandA, Kyrø C, Boutron-Ruault MC, Carbonnel F, Dong C, Kaaks R, Kühn T, Boeing H, SchulzeM, Trichopoulou A, Karakatsani A, la Vecchia C, Palli D, Agnoli C, Tumino R, Sacerdote C, Panico S, Bueno-de-Mesquita B, Vermeulen RCH, Gram IT, Weiderpass E BenjaminsenBorch K, Ramón Quirós J, Agudo A, Rodríguez-Barranco M, Santiuste C, Ardanaz E,van Guelpen B, Harlid S, Imaz L, Perez-Cornago A Gunter MJ, Zouiouich S, Park JY,Riboli E, Cross AJ, Heath AK, Waterboer T,  Hughes DJ. Antibody responses to Helicobacter pylori and risk of developing colorectal cancer in a European cohort. CancerEpidemiol Biomark Prev 2020, Apr 24. pii: cebp.1545.2019. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1545. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32332031.