In the 1970s, when he worked as a pathologist in the Colombian city of Cali, Pelayo Correa noticed that migrants from the state of Nariño in the country's southwest seemed prone to stomach cancer. Later studies showed that these people indeed are five times as likely to get the disease as other Colombians are.
Now at Louisiana State University (LSU) in New Orleans, Correa has come up with a way to derail incipient stomach cancer as it marches through its predictable stages of aberrant cell growth in the stomach lining.
Correa and his colleagues in Colombia and at LSU report in the Dec. 6 Journal of the National Cancer Institute that antibiotics, vitamin C, or beta-carotene—a precursor of vitamin A—can reverse precancerous stomach conditions.
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