Stomach cancer resulted in 768,793 deaths worldwide in 2020 (Globocan 2020). One of the major risk factors for stomach cancer is infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). However, out of all the people with H. pylori infection, only 1-3% develop stomach cancer. In order to better predict which H. pylori-infected individuals will develop cancer, more needs to be understood about the steps that lead to H. pylori-associated cancer initiation.
In this review in the journal Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology, the Boccellato lab summarise how different models, including animal models and stem cell-driven culture models, can be used to study how H. pylori infection of the stomach lining promotes carcinogenesis. Their review describes the four stages of carcinogenesis: colonisation; inflammation and immune evasion; disruption of stomach lining; and DNA damage.