Background : The host genetic factors that determine the clinical outcomes of Helicobacter pylori-infected individuals remain unclear.
Aim : To elucidate the risks of host interleukin-1 (IL-1) genetic polymorphisms and H. pylori infection in the development of gastric cancer.
Methods : In a case–control study of 164 controls and 142 patients with gastric cancer, the IL-1B-511 biallelic polymorphisms and the IL-1RN penta-allelic variable number of tandem repeats were genotyped.
Results : The carriage of IL-1RN*2, male gender, old age and H. pylori infection independently increased the risk of gastric cancer, with odds ratios of 3.3 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.4–7.7], 2.1 (95% CI, 1.2–3.8), 5.3 (95% CI, 3.1–9.0) and 2.2 (95% CI, 1.3–3.8), respectively. H. pylori-infected individuals who were carriers of IL-1RN*2 showed increased risks of both intestinal and diffuse types of gastric cancer, with odds ratios of 11.0 and 8.7, respectively. In addition, these individuals also had a higher score of intestinal metaplasia in the corpus than did uninfected non-carriers.
Conclusions : This study is the first to verify IL-1RN*2 as an independent factor governing the development of gastric cancer in Asian individuals. A combination of H. pylori testing and host genotyping may target the eradication of H. pylori to high-risk individuals.