Helicobacter pylori infection is one of the most important factors in gastric carcinogenesis in humans. Epidemiological studies have revealed that H. pylori-infected patients develop significantly more gastric cancers than uninfected individuals. In rodent models, H. pylori inoculation causes strong promoting effects in carcinogen-treated animals, whereas the bacterial infection alone causes only hyperplasic, atrophic, and/or metaplastic lesions. In both human and rodent models, eradication of H. pylori helps inhibit gastric carcinogenesis, especially when there is only mild gastric inflammation and no evidence of severe atrophy or intestinal metaplasia. Chemoprevention studies in humans have been reported and have shown the effectiveness of several medications including a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor. Candidate chemicals used in rodent models could hopefully be used in humans in the future.
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