Environmental exposure to cadmium associated with increased cancer risk

January 15, 2006

Individuals who are exposed to the metal cadmium in the environment have an increased cancer risk, according to Belgian researchers reporting online today in The Lancet Oncology. "Cadmium is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant in industrialised countries", says author Dr Jan A Staessen (University of Leuven, Belgium).

Cadmium has toxic effects and due to its slow half-life accumulates in the body over an individual's lifetime. The amount of cadmium that is excreted in a person's urine can therefore be used as a biomarker of exposure. Exposure occurs through contaminated food or water or inhalation of tobacco smoke or polluted air. By use of a random population sample of 994 participants from north-east Belgium, Staessen and colleagues investigated prospectively whether environmental exposure to cadmium is associated with an increased risk of cancer, in particular lung cancer.

They recruited participants from an area close to 3 zinc smelters (high exposure) and compared them with a reference population that lived in a low exposure area. Cadmium in urine was measured from 1985-89 (baseline) and incidence of cancer in these individuals was measured until June 30, 2004.

At baseline, the average concentration of cadmium was 12.3 nmol/day for those from the high exposure area compared with 7.7 nmol/day for those from the low exposure area. During a median follow up of 17.2 years, 50 fatal cancers (including 18 lung cancers) and 20 non-fatal cancers (including 1 lung cancer) were identified. Overall cancer risk was significantly associated with a doubling of the excretion concentration of cadmium. This association remained after accounting for exposure to inorganic arsenic.

Dr Staessen states "Historical pollution from non-ferrous smelters continues to present a serious health hazard, necessitating targeted preventive measures".
-end-
Contact: Dr. Jan A Staessen, Study Coordinating Centre, Laboratory of Hypertension, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49 bus 702, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium Tel. 321-634-7104, jan.staessen@med.kuleuven.be

Lancet

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.