H. pylori: Not a Risk Factor for Head and Neck Cancer After All?
Noting that previous studies have indicated H. pylori may be a risk factor for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, Grégoire B. Morand, MD, from the University Hospital Zurich, and colleagues examined its impact in the upper aerodigestive tract. The authors conducted serology, rapid urease test, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays for H. pylori in 56 head and neck cancer patients and 90 cancer-free controls.
The researchers found that in logistic regression the rates of positive serology and rapid urease tests did not differ between the groups (P=0.677 and 0.633, respectively). Predictors of positive serology were birth in a developing country (P<0.001) and age above 50 years (P=0.040). No biopsy indicated presence of H. pylori on qPCR.
"This study challenges the concept that H. pylori may be a risk factor for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma," the authors write.