Peptic ulcer disease
Peptic ulcer disease has been a major medical problem in most countries of the developed world. In Australia alone, one in ten people might expect to suffer from ulcer disease over their lifetime. Ulcer medications could provide temporary healing, but 80% of patients would suffer a relapse within a year of stopping treatment. Thanks to the persistence of two Australian researchers, this is no longer the case.As has now been well documented, from 1985 to 1987, Perth based researchers Professor Robin Warren and Barry Marshall studied the use of antibiotics as treatment for ulcer. Their finding that 80% of patients were permanently cured of their ulcer if helicobacter pylori bacteria were eradicated, proved a landmark development in clinical gastroenterology practice. It resulted in a complete reassessment of ulcer treatment, and this therapy is now accepted as an essential part of the management of ulcer disease. It was possible to cure a disease previously considered intractable, and thus spare countless people a lifetime of pain, distress and inconvenience.