To investigate the IgG antibody titer against Helicobacter pylori CagA as a risk factor for future noncardia gastric cancer.
A nested case-control study was done in the longitudinal cohort of atomic bomb survivors using stored sera before diagnosis (mean, 2.3 years). Enrolled were 299 cancer cases and 3 controls per case selected from cohort members matched on age, gender, city, and time and type of serum storage and countermatched on radiation dose.
H. pylori IgG seropositive with CagA IgG low titer was the strongest risk factor for noncardia gastric cancer [relative risk (RR), 3.9; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 2.1-7.0; P < 0.001], especially for intestinal-type tumor (RR, 9.9, 95% CI, 3.5-27.4; P < 0.001), compared with other risk factors, H. pylori IgG seropositive with CagA IgG negative (RR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.3-3.9; P = 0.0052), H. pylori IgG seropositive with CagA IgG high titer (RR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-3.2; P = 0.0022), chronic atrophic gastritis (RR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.8-3.3; P < 0.001), current smoking (RR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.4-3.5; P < 0.001), or radiation dose (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.1; P = 0.00193). Current smoking showed significantly higher risk for diffuse-type than intestinal-type tumors (P = 0.0372). Radiation risk was significant only for nonsmokers, all noncardia, and diffuse-type gastric cancers.
A low CagA IgG titer is a useful biomarker to identify a high-risk group and it also provides a clue to understanding host-pathogen interaction.