Helicobacter pylori is the dominant species of the human gastric microbiome, and colonization causes a persistent inflammatory response. H. pylori-induced gastritis is the strongest singular risk factor for cancers of the stomach; however, only a small proportion of infected individuals develop malignancy. Carcinogenic risk is modified by strain-specific bacterial components, host responses and/or specific host-microbe interactions. Delineation of bacterial and host mediators that augment gastric cancer risk has profound ramifications for both physicians and biomedical researchers as such findings will not only focus the prevention approaches that target H. pylori-infected human populations at increased risk for stomach cancer but will also provide mechanistic insights into inflammatory carcinomas that develop beyond the gastric niche. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
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