Microbes and cancer

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 17 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1611
  1. Bernard Dixon

    The Society for General Microbiology is currently celebrating its golden jubilee. How timely, then, for Milton Wainwright, writing in the society's Quarterly (1995;22:48-50), to review past and present evidence that micro-organisms can cause cancer.

    Current interest, of course, centres on the association between stomach cancer and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Although the case is not as watertight as that incriminating H pylori in ulcers, several papers published over the past four years have successively strengthened the evidence for a causal link. Epidemiological demonstrations of a higher risk of gastric cancer among patients infected with the organism have been supported by plausible evidence for appropriate …

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