Helicobacter pylori antibodies and gastric cancer: a gender-related difference


*Corresponding author. Tel.: +45 35455569/44440458 (home); fax: +45 35456869, E-mail address: lpa@biobase.dk


Helicobacter pylori has been proposed as a causative agent of gastric cancer. The aim of this study was to define serum antibodies response against different H. pylori antigens in patients with gastric cancer. Serum samples were collected from 115 Lithuanian patients with non-cardia gastric cancer and 110 age- and sex-matched controls without cancer. Heat-stable, low-molecular-mass, and outer membrane proteins were used as antigens to analyze serum IgG antibody response against H. pylori by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Seroprevalence of H. pylori using low-molecular-mass antigen was significantly higher in gastric cancer patients, compared to controls (77% versus 57%, p < 0.05). Significant differences in the prevalence of H. pylori infection between gastric cancer patients and controls were found in females using all three studied antigens: heat-stable (98% versus 84%, p < 0.05), low-molecular-mass (88% versus 48%, p < 0.05) and outer membrane proteins (78% versus 57%, p < 0.05). In males, no significant differences were revealed between gastric cancer patients and controls. There may be other cofactors in addition to H. pylori that are important for the development of gastric cancer. H. pylori seems, however, to be a more important for development of gastric cancer in females than in males or males may have more confounding risk factors for gastric cancer than females.