Australians win medical Nobel Prize
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 24, 2005
Two Australians won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine this month for discovering a bacterium that causes ulcers and stomach inflammation. They are Dr. Barry J. Marshall, a gastroenterologist from the University of Western Australia, and Dr. J. Robin Warren, who was a pathologist at Royal Perth Hospital.
Drs. Marshall and Warren found that Helicobacter pylori was present in almost all patients with gastric inflammation, duodenal ulcer or gastric ulcer, the Nobel committee said. The doctors showed that patients could be cured of peptic ulcer disease by eradicating the bacteria from the stomach.
In 1982, when the two men discovered the bacterium, stress and lifestyle were considered the major causes of peptic ulcer disease. Now it is established that Helicobacter pylori causes more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and up to 80% of gastric ulcers, the committee said.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/10/24/prbf1024.htm.