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The discovery of biomarkers for gastric cancer screening

Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is a rare tumor that develops from the mucosal cells lining the stomach. 

Over 400 participants, half of whom had gastric cancer, were included in a study designed to identify biomarkers that could improve gastric cancer screening and follow-up.

Levels of vitamin B12, folic acid and homocysteine were measured using chemiluminescence.

Results showed significant differences between mean levels of homocysteine, vitamin B12 and folic acid in gastric cancer patients compared with controls.

Mean folic acid levels were lower in gastric cancer patients, while homocysteine levels were higher. These variations were observed independently of age, gender, histological subtype and the presence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) infections.

The results of this study showed a correlation between high homocysteine levels and deficiencies in vitamin B12 and folic acid with an increased risk of gastric cancer. H. pylori and EBV infection have also been associated with disturbances in vitamin B12 and folic acid absorption, which may contribute to elevated homocysteine levels.

H. pylori and EBV infections are known to be associated with the development of gastric cancer, underlining the importance of further co-infection studies.

In conclusion, this study suggests that assessment of homocysteine, vitamin B12 and folic acid levels could serve as useful biomarkers for early detection and monitoring of gastric cancer.

These results reinforce the importance of these substances in gastric carcinogenesis and their potential as clinical diagnostic tools.

Source(s) :
Alcântara FF, Sant'Anna CC, Alcântara DDFÁ, Cohen-Paes AN, Soares PC, Assumpção PP, Imbiriba MMBG, Burbano RMR. Homocystein, Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid as Screening Biomarkers in Early Diagnosis and Gastric Cancer Monitoring. Med Sci (Basel). 2024 May 6;1 ;

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