Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 249–254

Difficulty in eradicatingHelicobacter pylori in a population at high risk for stomach cancer in Venezuela


  • Eva Buiatti
    • the Centro per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica
  • Nubia Muñoz
    • International Agency for Research on Cancer
  • Jorge Vivas
    • the Cancer Control Center
  • Elsa Cano
    • the Cancer Control Center
  • Simon Peraza
    • the Cancer Control Center
  • Elsa Carillo
    • the Cancer Control Center
  • Denis Castro
    • the Cancer Control Center
  • Victor Sanchez
    • the Cancer Control Center
  • Olga Andrade
    • the Cancer Control Center
  • Maja Benz
    • International Agency for Research on Cancer
  • Silvia de Sanjosé
    • International Agency for Research on Cancer
  • Walter Oliver
    • the Cancer Control Center
Research Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF01830244

Cite this article as:
Buiatti, E., Muñoz, N., Vivas, J. et al. Cancer Causes Control (1994) 5: 249. doi:10.1007/BF01830244


The bacteriumHelicobacter pylori (HP) has been implicated in the etiology of precancerous lesions of the stomach and there is evidence suggesting that it may influence the efficacy of chemoprevention of gastric cancer with vitamin C. Eradication seldom has been attempted in populations from developing countries, with a high prevalence of HP frequently resistant to metronidazole. A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of colloidal bismuth subcitrate (120 mg q.i.d.) and amoxycillin (500 mg q.i.d.) in eradicating HP was conducted in 220 subjects drawn from a population with a high prevalence of metronidazole-resistant HP in Tachira state, Venezuela. One month after completion of two weeks' treatment, eradication rates of 6.5 percent in the treatment group and two percent in the placebo group were estimated on the basis of HP diagnosis in biopsies, and of 13.9 percent compared with 3.9 percent on the basis of a14C-urea breath test, although the negative predictive value of the breath test was very low compared with HP diagnosis in biopsies. In the treatment group, particularly among males, a significant decrease in bacterial load was detected. Reasons for failure of treatment in high HP-prevalence areas are discussed, and it is suggested that primary prevention of HP infection may be the optimal approach to reducing levels of stomach cancer in these high-risk groups.

Key words

AmoxycillinbismutheradicationHelicobacter pyloristomach cancerVenezuela
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© Rapid Communications of Oxford Ltd 1994