Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the National Institute of Public Health of Slovenia (NIJZ), Community Healthcare Center Dr Adolf Drolc Maribor (Slovenia), the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine of the University of Latvia, and the University Hospital Centre of Nantes (France) launched a new project to accelerate gastric cancer reduction in Europe, at a kick-off meeting on 18 November in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Co-funded by the European Union, the Accelerating Gastric Cancer Reduction in Europe through Helicobacter pylori Eradication (EUROHELICAN) project aims to assess the feasibility of the population-based H. pylori test-and-treat strategy for the prevention of gastric cancer in Europe.
Within EUROHELICAN, IARC will hold a Working Group meeting by convening an international, interdisciplinary group of experts to discuss the successful implementation of the proposed population-based H. pylori test-and-treat strategies in various settings and will publish an IARC Working Group Report summarizing the recommendations. The discussions will be based largely on work done by EUROHELICAN national teams. The team in Slovenia will implement a population-based H. pylori test-and-treat programme in young Slovene adults, for the first time in Europe, and assess the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of the programme. The team in Latvia will evaluate the long-term effects (after an average follow-up of 6 years) of the strategy in middle-aged Latvian men and women participating in the ongoing population-based GISTAR study.
In Europe, gastric cancer is still an important public health issue. The regions of Central and Eastern Europe have some of the highest incidence rates of gastric cancer worldwide, second only to Eastern Asia, and have a substantial prevalence of infection with H. pylori, which is a major risk factor for gastric cancer. The results of the EUROHELICAN project will aid policy-makers in incorporating the population-based H. pylori test-and-treat strategy into their health-care priorities for gastric cancer prevention. The project will run from 1 November 2022 to 30 April 2025.