Increased Gastric Cancer Risk for Heavy Beer Drinkers

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Although heavy beer drinking is linked to a higher gastric cancer risk, it is uncertain if the rule applies to hard liquor. (Photo: D. Cubilla)
Although heavy beer drinking is linked to a higher gastric cancer risk, it is uncertain if the rule applies to hard liquor. (Photo: D. Cubilla)

WORLD

  • Heavy beer drinkers with certain genetic variants may be a shocking 700% more likely to develop gastric cancer
  • Gastric cancer treatment market could hit $2 billion in 2017 for a growth rate of 133%
  • Targeted therapies could make up more than 60% of growth by 2017

Heavy beer drinkers may have an increased risk of gastric cancer, especially if they possess a certain genetic variant, new reports suggest.

The variants that appear to significantly increase gastric cancer risk are known as rs283411 and rs1230025. Statistics showed that people with the rs230025 variant who were heavy beer drinkers, consuming two or three beers per day for many years, increased their risk of gastric cancer by 30%.

For heavy beer drinkers who have two copies of the variant, the risk of contracting gastric cancer skyrockets and could be as high as 700%, said the study’s senior author Eric Duell, PhD, from the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain.

Risk Related to Other Alcohols Undetermined

Other types of alcohol such as wine and hard liquor were not found to increase the risk of gastric cancer, but Dr Duell conceded this finding was inconclusive.

The study observed 521,000 adults from across Europe, aged 35 to 70, and researchers noted if and how often the patients drank beer, wine or liquor, and also took smoking into consideration.

The number of therapies for gastric cancer has increased in recent years, as has the amount of investment. Business intelligence group Espicom predicts the market will rise from $846 million in 2010 to close to $2 billion in 2017 – a growth rate of 133%.

Chemotherapy agents currently account for the bulk of the gastric cancer treatment market, but targeted therapies are expected to make up more than 60% of growth by 2017.

Key Players - Gastric Cancer Treatment Market

  • Roche
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Merck
  • Lilly
  • Bayer

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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