Ulcer Controversy

AFTER a decade of fierce debate and much research, the once heretical view that stomach ulcers are an infection caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, and are curable with antimicrobial drugs, has prevailed. And now leading researchers are turning to the public health implications of H. pylori, including a link to stomach cancer. Until this view of the cause of ulcers was endorsed this month by an independent panel of medical experts convened by the National Institutes of Health, a Federal agency in Bethesda, Md., the theory and benefits of antimicrobial therapy were still considered unproved and radical.