In recognition that many stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria, rather than stress or diet, a UC Irvine physician is launching a new study to evaluate the effectiveness of a combination of bacteria-destroying medications in treating ulcer patients.
Dr. Hooshang Meshkinpour, a UCI gastroenterologist, said the aim of the research project is to find the most effective method for healing ulcers and eradicating the bacteria, called H. pylori, which in recent years has been discovered to be responsible for 80% of gastric ulcers and 98% of duodenal ulcers.
The research is being funded by pharmaceutical companies.
The treatment, including medications, diagnosis and blood tests, is free to participating patients.
Clinical research coordinator Cheryl Dutton said researchers are trying to recruit patients with a history of peptic ulcer disease or symptoms of ulcers, such as unexplained upper abdominal pain that gets worse at night or when the stomach is empty.
“The more data we have, the better the study,” Dutton said.
Currently, she said, ulcer sufferers take several kinds of medications.
“The hope is that out of this research will come a single pill that is easier for the patient to take and will work more quickly,” she said.
Those who want to volunteer for the study should call (714) 456-5071.