Helicobacter pylori and Oral Cancer: Possible Association in a Preliminary Case Control Study


Oral cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Indian men and is the leading cause of cancer deaths.Helicobacter pylori have been reported to be present in 0-40% of the cases with head neck cancer. A higherpercentage has been identified in laryngeal and pharangeal cancer. We here carried out a hospital-based, case–control study of 20 patients with newly diagnosed oral cancer and 20 healthy controls without any cancer toevaluate associations between H pylori infection and oral cancer using culture and 16sRNA PCR technique forbacterial identification. H pylori was isolated from the culture of three cases and one control, while three casesand two control showed PCR positivity for H Pylori 16sRNA. The odds ratio by culture was 3.0, 95% CI 0.34-26.4 and 1.5, 95% CI 0.28-8.03 by PCR. None of the observed odds ratio was statistically significant. However,the results of this pilot study suggest a possible association of H. pylori with an increased risk of oral cancer.Additional studies in larger populations are necessary to confirm and to quantify this possible association moreaccurately.