Web Links on Gastric Ulcers and Helicobacter pylori

Marshall and Warren's Nobel Prize

article from the Medical Journal of Australia

Slate magazine, interview with Barry Marshall

Robin Warren's Nobel Prize Lecture

How do these essays compare with Watson's autobiography, and with the course web page What Watson Knew?


After reading these, look at the following:

"As late as the 1970s a peptic ulcer could be a life-threatening condition. Sufferers often endured periods of intense pain over many years, especially at mealtimes and at night, with social and economic repercussions for themselves and their families. Left untreated, an ulcer could result in severe bleeding and death.

A major cause of ulcers is the release of excess stomach acid, which leads to breaches in the lining of the intestinal tract. Continuing acid secretion prevents healing. The main treatment used to be the administration of alkalis, which provided only temporary relief. Patients were told to rest and follow a bland diet. Surgery to remove part of the stomach was a last resort.

The discovery of the compound cimetidine by researchers at the UK laboratories of Smith Kline & French in the 1970s, transformed the lives of millions of people. Sold under the trademark Tagamet®, it was the first effective anti-ulcer drug and had a revolutionary impact on treatment. Tagamet® profoundly decreases acid secretion, thus promoting healing and avoiding the need for surgery."

[This quote is from the following web site: Tagamet®: A medicine that changed people's lives]


an archived page from the CDC about the history of ulcers

WebMD page on peptic ulcers. This is typical of the many medical web sites for the general public. The current version of the page dates from 2017; previous versions were less informative about H. pylori.


Some published papers, in chronological order (not required reading, but you may find them interesting from a historical perspective):

Davies, Daniel T., and A.T. Macbeth Wilson (1937). Observations on the life-history of chronic peptic ulcer. Lancet 230, 1353-1360

Todd, John W. (1952) The treatment of peptic ulcer. Lancet 259, 113-118

Alp, M.H., J.H. Court, and A. Kerr Grant (1970). Personality pattern and emotional stress in the genesis of gastric ulcer. Gut 11, 773-777.

Marshall, Barry J., and J. Robin Warren (1984). Unidentified curved bacilli in the stomach of patients with gastritis and peptic ulceration. Lancet 323, 1311-1315

Axon, A.T.R. (1986). Campylobacter pyloridis: what role in gastritis and peptic ulcer? British Medical Journal 293, 772-773.

Goodwin, C.S. (1988). Duodenal ulcer, Campylobacter pylori, and the "leaking roof" concept. Lancet 332, 1467-1469

McKinlay, A.W., R. Upadhyay, C.G. Gemmell, and R.I. Russell (1990). Helicobacter pylori: bridging the credibility gap. Gut 31, 940-945.