BACKGROUND: The goal of this study was to evaluate prospectively the presence and impact of the gastric carcinogen Helicobacter pylori in the upper aerodigestive tract. Previous studies suggested it could represent a risk factor for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
METHODS: Serology, rapid urease test, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for H. pylori were performed in head and neck cancer patients (N=56) and cancer-free controls (N=90). Comparison between groups was done using logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Rates of positive serology and rapid urease test did not differ between the two groups in logistic regression analysis (P=0.677 and P=0.633, respectively). Birth in a developing country and age above 50 years old were predictors of positive serology (P<0.001 and P=0.040, respectively). Using qPCR, no biopsy showed presence of H.pylori.
CONCLUSION: This study challenges the concept that H. pylori may be a risk factor for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.