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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 76

of 'Metaplastic (chronic) atrophic gastritis'

Intestinal metaplasia: a premalignant lesion involved in gastric carcinogenesis.
Busuttil RA, Boussioutas A
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009;24(2):193.
Despite a plateau in incidence, gastric cancer remains a significant problem globally. The majority of gastric cancer is associated with histologically recognizable premalignant stages as first described by Pelayo Correa in the mid-1970s. The mortality from gastric cancer remains high especially in Western countries where, arguably, the index of suspicion of gastric cancer in patients presenting with upper abdominal symptoms is lower than in high prevalence countries. What is the evidence that intestinal metaplasia (IM) is a premalignant condition? What should the clinician know about IM and the relative risks of progression to gastric cancer? Finally, what are the current and future strategies that may help stratify patients into high risk and low risk for the development of gastric cancer? This review focuses on gastric IM and outlines some of the literature that discusses it as a premalignant condition. It also reviews the issue of surveillance of patients with IM in order to attempt to reduce the significant mortality of gastric cancer by detection of earlier stages of disease which are eminently treatable.
Cancer Genomics and Predictive Medicine, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.