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Healthy Stomach Day – aroused wide interest and increased awareness on stomach health

Press release

5th of October 2018 at 12.10 PM local time 

International Healthy Stomach Initiative (HSI) organized on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 in several countries all over the world public events aiming to increase the awareness on stomach health. As a part of this global initiative, a public event was organized in Helsinki, at Pörssitalo. Gastric and colorectal cancer are still very common cancers worldwide. The major goal of HSI is, together with its partners, to distribute knowledge and promote the prevention of these cancers as well as the patient safety of the clinical examinations for the stomach health.   

HSI was founded in 2007 by two key opinion leaders, gastroenterologists professor Peter Malfertheiner and professor Francesco DiMario. This year, Healthy Stomach Day was organized for the first time in a global scale. Distinguished clinicians from different countries are involved in distributing pertinent information.  HSI activities have been intensified during the past recent years, while arranging e.g. three annual major congresses, in the US, Asia and Europe.  

”The efforts promoting stomach health should benefit, both globally and nationally, from participation by health care professionals, health authorities as well as industry and media. HSI also conducts important research to promote stomach health”, says Business Development Director, Dr. Lea Paloheimo from Biohit Oyj.   Healthy Stomach Day is organised on October 2, because professor Barry Marshall reported Helicobacter pylori for the first time on October 2, 1982. Together with professor Robin Warren, he received the Nobel prize in 2005  “for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease".  Helicobacter is still a major risk 

Helicobacter-induced gastritis and the resulting mucosal atrophy (atrophic gastritis) remain to be the most important independent risk factors of gastric cancer. HSI promotes early detection of the risk as well as prevention of gastric cancer among the patients with dyspeptic symptoms. The HSI goal is to distribute research-based evidence and increase the awareness of general population on stomach complaints, as well as to get involved both national and global stakeholders, including the teams creating evidence-based guidelines, and global organizations.  

Helicobacter diagnosis has traditionally been based on diagnostic tests that are subject to diagnostic errors and which fail to detect atrophic gastritis (3). Because of this, a group of sixteen gastroenterologists from twelve countries gathered up by HSI launched in 2012 a consensus statement advocating the use of a biomarker blood test (GastroPanel) for examination of both asymptomatic and symptomatic dyspeptic patients (1).    

 Public was invited cordially   In the Healthy Stomach Day-event in Helsinki, there will be presentations by the Chairman of the Board, Biohit Oyj, professor Osmo Suovaniemi, specialist in gastroenterology Dr. Olli-Pekka Koivurova (Terveystalo, Oulu), professor Kari Syrjänen (Biohit Oyj), professor Pentti Sipponen (Repolar Oy) as well as adjunct professor Timo Joensuu (Docrates cancer hospital). The lectures were followed by a round table discussion by an expert panel, including professor Matti Eskelinen (Kuopio University). ”We want to distribute evidence-based knowledge on stomach health for general public so as to intensify the efforts for prevention of gastric-, esophageal and colorectal cancer in the country, which would also save the lead to cost savings. This year, Biohit was the organizer of the HSI event in Finland,” Osmo Suovaniemi said. In Finland, it would be possible to significantly reduce the annual incident cases and mortality of gastric-, esophageal- and colorectal cancer in both genders, by early detection of the risks using GastroPanel- and ColonView-FIT-tests for both case finding and population-based screening. In 2014, incident cases were detected in 650, 307 and 3500 patients, respectively, and  430, 257 and 1220 patients died of these cancers, respectively. ”GastroPanel detects in dyspeptic and asymptomatic patients, Helicobacter infection and atrophic gastritis, both being risk factors of gastric cancer. In addition, GastroPanel gives additional information on potential malabsorption of B12-vitamin, iron, calcium and certain medicines. Atrophic gastritis is the major reason for Vitamin-B12 deficiency. When GastroPanel result is normal, its longitudinal predictive value for a healthy stomach is very high (3), says CEO Semi Korpela from Biohit Oyj. Among dyspeptic patients, GastroPanel helps detecting those for whom additional examinations are mandatory, e.g., because of an increased risk of gastric cancer. GastroPanel result indicating  i) a symptomatic Helicobacter pylori infection after eradication attempt, ii) atrophic gastritis, or iii) symptomatic high acid output  are indications for gastroscopy and biopsies.  

Because upper abdominal complaints particularly among elderly people can be of intestinal origin, the patient safety can be increased and cost savings are achieved if GastroPanel-innovation and other clinical tests are being supplemented with another Finnish innovation ColonView-FIT, that is capable of detecting colorectal cancer precursors (polyps and adenomas) as well as early cancers (2).


Additional information

CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj
tel. +358 9 773 861




1. Agréus L, Kuipers EJ, Kupcinskas L, Malfertheiner P, Di Mario F, Leja M, Mahachai V, Yaron N, van Oijen M, Perez Perez G, Rugge M, Ronkainen J, Salaspuro M, Sipponen P, Sugano K, Sung J. Rationale in diagnosis and screening of atrophic gastritis with stomach-specific plasma biomarkers, Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology2012; 47: 136 – 147

2. VasIlyev S et al. A New-Generation Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Is Superior to Quaiac-based Test in Detecting Colorectal Neoplasia Among Colonoscopy Referral Patients. Anticancer Research 2015;35:2873-2880.

3. Syrjänen K. False negative and false positive results in diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infections can be avoided by a panel of serum biomarkers (GastroPanel). M J Gast 2017;1(1): 007-014.


Additional information


View the event from this link in Finnish:


Biohit in brief

Biohit Oyj is a globally operating Finnish biotechnology company. Biohit’s mission is “Innovating for Health” – we produce innovative products and services to promote research and early diagnosis. Biohit is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, and has subsidiaries in Italy and the UK. Biohit's Series B share (BIOBV) is quoted on Nasdaq Helsinki in the Small cap/Healthcare group.

Friday, October 5, 2018 - 05:10