H. pylori antibodies may point to colorectal cancer risk

Antibodies for toxin may one day be a biomarker for increased chance of cancer

Antibodies to Vacuolating cytotoxin A, one of the major toxins secreted by Helicobacter pylori, show a relationship with colorectal cancer, according to a large study of serum.

The researchers note that although most of the world harbours H. pylori infection, only a small proportion develop gastric cancer.

Therefore, "it is important that both bacterial virulence factors and host responses, such as the individual's immune response to H. pylori infection, are considered".

As part of that effort, the team used H. pylori multiplex serologic assays to analyse serum samples from a diverse population across the US.

This consisted of 4063 incident cases of colorectal cancer, collected before diagnosis, and 4063 matched samples from people without the cancer.

Antibody responses to 13 H. pylori proteins, including the virulence factor