Histamine-2-receptor antagonists and oesophageal cancer

F. Fioretti, A. Tavani, C. La Vecchia, S. Franceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peptic ulcer and gastrectomy are associated with an increased risk of oesophageal cancer. We considered the relation between treatment with histamine-2 (H-2)-receptor antagonists and subsequent risk of oesophageal cancer. Data from a case-control study conducted between 1984 and 1995 in northern Italy were used. These comprised 407 incident, histologically confirmed cases and 1168 controls admitted for acute, non-neoplastic, non-digestive tract conditions, unrelated to known risk factors for oesophageal cancer. Ten (2.5%) cases and 52 (4.5%) controls reported using H-2-receptor antagonists at some time, corresponding to a multivariate odds ratio (OR) of 0.5 (95% confidence interval 0.2-1.0). The OR was 0.4 for subjects who had started use seven years earlier or less, and 0.6 for those who had started use more than seven years ago. These findings indicate that risk of oesophageal cancer is not increased among H-2-receptor antagonist users. This trend to protection may be explained in terms of chance alone, or may be partly related to a possible favourable impact of H-2-receptor-antagonists on chronic oesophageal carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-146
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Case-control study
  • Cimetidine
  • Histamine-2-receptor antagonist
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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