Highlights from this issue
Helicobacter pylori eradication and/or celecoxib for gastric cancer prevention: two is not better than one
Eradication of H pylori is known to slow down or even reverse premalignant gastric lesions. COX-2 over-expression may be an important step in H pylori associated gastric carcinogenesis. Although several studies have shown that long-term use of aspirin or non-aspirin NSAIDs can prevent the development of GC, no randomised study of selective COX-2 inhibitor, such as celecoxib, on GC prevention or its precursors has yet been reported. In this issue of Gut Wong et al evaluated the effect of celecoxib alone and combined with H pylori eradication on the evolution of precancerous gastric lesions. They conducted a randomised, placebo controlled trial in Linqu County, Shandong Province, China, an area with a very high incidence of gastric cancer. This population-based intervention trial revealed that celecoxib treatment or H pylori eradication alone had beneficial effects on the regression of advanced gastric lesions. Curiously however, no favourable effects were seen for H pylori eradication followed by celecoxib treatment (see table 1). (see page 812).
Probiotics protect small bowel epithelium against radiation damage
The small intestinal epithelium is highly sensitive to radiation and frequently suffers serious injury during radiation therapy and environmental overexposure. In this excellent study from the US, Ciorba et al examined probiotic bacteria as potential radioprotective agents in the intestine. 8-week-old C57BL/6 wild-type or knockout mice were administered probiotic by gavage for 3 days before 12 Gy whole …