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Helicobacter pylori and pathogenesis of gallbladder cancer


Professor Hari S. Shukla, 7 SKG Colony, Lanka, Varanasi, UP, 221005 India. Email:


Background and Aim:  Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is a rare but leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The incidence of GBC is increasing at an alarming rate in the Varanasi region, and its etiology remains obscure.

Methods:  A total of 108 patients, 54 with GBC and 54 with gallstone diseases (GSD), were examined for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in gallbladder specimens by rapid urease test, biochemical test, histology, culture, serology, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and partial DNA sequencing. PCR was done using heat shock protein-60 (Hsp60) gene-nested primers.

Result:  Forty (74%) patients with GBC had gallstones. Upon culture, H. pylori colonies were identified in 24 (44%) GBC and 18 (33%) GSD specimens. H. pylori was detected in 20 (37%) GBC and 15 (28%) GSD samples upon histology. Serology was positive in 17 (32%) GBC and 15 (28%) GSD patients. The DNA isolated from GBC and GSD specimens was amplified by PCR with Hsp60-nested primers in 18 (33%) patients with GBC and 15 (28%) with GSD (P > 0.05). These sequences had 98% similarity with the presubmitted Hsp60 sequences of H. pylori in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information's GenBank.

Conclusion:  The results revealed that H. pylori was present in a large population, including both GBC and GSD patients, which indicates its endemic presence in the Varanasi region. Thus, it appears H. pylori might not have a significant role in the etiopathogenesis of GBC in our region.