Antibiotics, a Life saver for Gastric Cancer Patients:

Antibiotic, a chemical compound that is responsible for killing, inhibiting, or retarding the growth of bacteria. It belongs to the wider group of antibacterial compounds, used to cure infections caused by the micro-organism, including fungi and protozoa.

The term “Antibiotic” was first coined by Selman Waksman in 1942. Most of the antibiotics are generally small molecules with molecular weight less than 2000 Da. With the rapid advancement in medicinal chemistry, most of the antibiotics are now fall under semi-synthetic-modified chemically from original compounds found in nature, as is the case with beta-lactams (which include the penicillins, produced by fungi in the genus Penicillium, the cephalosporins, and the carbapenems).

There are antibiotic that are still produced and isolated from living organisms, such as the aminoglycosides and there are others those are created through purely synthetic means: the sulfonamides, quinolones, and the oxazolidinones.

Depending upon the effect of antibiotics on microorganism, they are divided into two broad groups such as:

  • Bactericidal Agents – Those that kill bacteria.
  • Bacteriostatic Agents – Those that only retards the growth of bacteria.

In Japan few scientist have found the possibility to decimate Helicobacter pylori infection by the use of antibiotics. H. Pylori is one among such microorganism which can cause stomach ulcers and in extreme cases can results to Gastric Cancer.

Seiji Shiota and Yoshio Yamaoka from Oita University, Japan and Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, respectively, imparted H.Pylori antibiotics to patients suffering from early gastric cancer after surgical resection and were followed up for three years.

After the successful dosage of H.Pylori antibiotics to the patient, it has been observed that patient who has received the dosage has a significant lower risk of developing gastric cancer and therefore confirming the importance careful management of H.pylori.

It is observed that infected individual do not have symptoms, but many among them develop problems such as stomach ulcers. H. pylori is said to be responsible for more than 90% of all duodenal ulcers and also contribute to the development of gastric cancer, which is one of the world’s biggest medical problems.

However, only certain populations (e.g. India and Thailand) have recorded high prevalence of H.Pylori infections but surprisingly a low incidence of gastric cancer. It has been estimated that certain strains of H.Pylori (especially east-Asian cytotoxin-associated gene [cagA]-positive strains) might carry an increased risk of developing gastric cancer, but currently identified cagA genotypes in the Asia-Pacific are not associated with cancer.

Some researcher said that “Bacterial virulence factors, host genetic factors, and environmental factors contribute to the risk for developing gastric cancer, and further studies are necessary”. They also warned practitioner to exercise caution with regard to widespread antibiotic treatment.

They also said “If all infected persons are to be treated, we should consider the increase in frequency of antibiotic resistance and unexpected consequences such as esophageal adenocarcinoma, asthma, and autoimmune disease”.

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