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April 4, 2005

Gastric Cancer: Caused by Chronic Inflammation - A Case Of Too Little Or Too Much Stomach Acid

Topics: Medicine

Reporting in the March 31 issue of Oncogene, U-M scientists have demonstrated that chronic gastritis progresses to gastric cancer in mice with abnormally low levels of gastrin - a hormone that stimulates stomach lining cells, called parietal cells, to secrete hydrochloric acid. According to their research, inflammation, regardless of the cause, is the key to the development of gastric cancer, and inflammation can occur in both over-production and under-production of gastrin.

Most physicians are aware of the association between chronic inflammation and gastric cancer, as well as the fact that infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori(H. pylori), if left untreated, can cause stomach cancer. However it isn't well known that lower-than-normal acidity can trigger pre-cancerous changes in the stomach lining. According to these University of Michigan researchers, too little stomach acid can be just as dangerous as too much. Both extremes create inflammatory changes in the stomach lining and a condition called chronic atrophic gastritis, which over time often leads to cancer.

Read more ...

Related reading:
The role of gastrin in colorectal carcinogenesis.

Modulating the cytokine response to treat Helicobacter gastritis.

Cross posted at New Hope Blog

Posted by Hyscience at April 4, 2005 3:05 PM

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