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Helicobacter pylori infection increases the risk for gastric cancer – Long-term follow-up of the screened population has been completed

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Biohit Oyj Press Release April 8, 2016 at 04:45 pm local time (EEST)

Additional confirmatory scientific evidence is obtained regarding the association between Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer. A long-term follow up of the population screened in 1994-1996 has been completed, and the results have been accepted for publication in Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. The journal is an esteemed and widespread scientific publication in the field.

The study confirms previously reported results. Even Helicobacter pylori infection alone increases significantly the risk for gastric cancer. The risk increases substantially further, when untreated infection has progressed to atrophic gastritis.

 First population-based screening with the GastroPanel biomarkers

In 1994-1996, a population-based screening study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the Finnish Cancer Registry. In this study, over 12 000 men aged 50–65 years from two cities of southern Finland were examined with two GastroPanel biomarkers, Helicobacter pylori -antibody test and pepsinogen I assay. The screened population was followed-up passively until 2011, when the results were linked to the Finnish Cancer Registry database, and the incidence of gastric cancer was assessed in the screened and control population.

Helicobacter pylori infection alone increases the risk of developing cancer six-fold

 Based on the test results, the subjects could be divided into three groups. The risk of cancer was assessed during 15-year follow-up period in these groups: 1) normal stomach 2) Helicobacter pylori infection without atrophic gastritis, and 3) atrophic gastritis.

Altogether, 65 new gastric cancers developed during the 15-year follow-up period in the whole screened population as follows:

  • 7 cancers developed in persons with healthy stomach (incidence 8.7/100.000)
  • 50 cancers developed in persons with Helicobacter pylori infection but no atrophic gastritis (incidence 54/100.000), and
  • 8 new cancers developed in persons with atrophic gastritis (incidence 92.4/100.000)

Based on these figures, the authors calculated that the risk ratio (RR) for developing gastric cancer compared to healthy subjects was 5.8-fold in persons with untreated Helicobacter pylori infection and up to 9.1.-fold in those with atrophic gastritis.

Chief Medical Director, Kari Syrjänen, Biohit Oyj: ‘This is the first screening study of its kind based on purely population-derived sample using Biohit GastroPanel biomarkers. The study as a whole is well designed, in co-operation with the Finnish Cancer Registry, and it is unique of its kind. The results are very convincing and they provide further evidence to confirm that Helicobacter pylori infection and the associated atrophic gastritis are two most important risk factors for gastric cancer.'

CEO, Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj: ‘The study supports the view that it is possible to predict gastric cancer development with GastroPanel even years before the diagnosis of the disease. GastroPanel can also be used for primary diagnosis of dyspeptic patients. New gastric cancer cases are being detected in 600-700 Finns every year. The confirmed cancer risk is high enough to warrant serious considerations to introduce GastroPanel test for population-based screening in Finland.'

The report Risk of gastric cancer in Helicobacter pylori infection in a 15-year follow-up (Ilkka Vohlonen, Eero Pukkala, Nea Malila, Matti Härkönen, Matti Hakama, Veli Koistinen, Pentti Sipponen 2016) will be published in Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.

More information on GastroPanel test can be found in the attachment.

Additional information:
CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj
tel. +358 9 773 861


Additional Information.pdf

Biohit in brief

Biohit Oyj is a globally operating Finnish biotechnology company. Biohit mission is “Innovating for Health” – we produce innovative products and services to promote research and early diagnosis. Biohit is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, and has subsidiaries in Italy and the UK. Biohit Series B share (BIOBV) is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki in the Small cap/Healthcare group. www.biohithealthcare.com