Heavy consumption of processed meats linked to increased risk for pancreatic cancer

April 20, 2005

Anaheim, Calif. - Heavy consumption of hot dogs, sausages and luncheon meats, along with other forms of processed meat, was associated with the greatest risk of pancreatic cancer in a large multiethnic study reported today at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"The results suggest that carcinogenic substances related to meat preparation, rather than their inherent fat or cholesterol content, might be responsible for the association," said Ute Nöthlings, DrPH, MSE, the study's lead investigator from the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Meat consumption has been linked to pancreatic cancer in several case-control studies in the past, but the results have been inconsistent and data from prospective studies has been lacking.

For this study, researchers from the Cancer Research Center and USC examined the relationship of diet to pancreatic cancer among 190,545 men and women of African-American, Japanese-American, Caucasian, Latino and Native Hawaiian origin who were part of the Multiethnic Cohort Study in Hawaii and Los Angeles. An average follow-up of seven years yielded 482 incident cases of pancreatic cancer.

The researchers found that the heavy consumption of processed meats resulted in the highest risk for pancreatic cancer, after adjusting for age, smoking status, history of diabetes, familial history of pancreatic cancer and ethnicity. Those who consumed the greatest amount of processed meats had a 67 percent increase in risk over those participants with the lowest intake of this food category. A diet rich in pork and red meat also increased pancreatic cancer risk by about 50 percent, compared to their counterparts who ate less meat.

Consumption of poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs showed no link to pancreatic cancer risk, nor did overall intake of total fat, saturated fat, or cholesterol.

"An analysis of fat and saturated fat intakes showed a significant increase in risk for fats from meat, but not from dairy products, indicating that fat and saturated fat are not likely to contribute to the underlying carcinogenic mechanism," said Nöthlings.

In particular, the scientists suggest that chemical reactions that occur during the preparation of processed meats might be responsible for the association. Such reactions can yield carcinogens including heterocyclic amines or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

"Our study is the largest of its kind to demonstrate a link between high consumption of processed meats over long periods of time and pancreatic cancer," said Nöthlings. "The sample size allowed us to obtain statistically significant risk-estimates that support this hypothesis."
-end-
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research is a professional society of more than 24,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical scientists engaged in all areas of cancer research in the United States and in more than 60 other countries. AACR's mission is to accelerate the prevention and cure of cancer through research, education, communication, and advocacy. Its principal activities include the publication of five major peer-reviewed scientific journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. AACR's Annual Meetings attract more than 15,000 participants who share new and significant discoveries in the cancer field. Specialty meetings, held throughout the year, focus on the latest developments in all areas of cancer research.

American Association for Cancer Research

Related Pancreatic Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Precision chemo-immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is highly lethal: according to the National Cancer Institute, only about 10 percent of patients remain alive five years after diagnosis.

Nerves keep pancreatic cancer cells from starving
Pancreatic cancer cells avert starvation by signaling to nerves, which grow into dense tumors and secrete nutrients.

Pancreatic cancer: Subtypes with different aggressiveness discovered
To date, no targeted personalized therapies for pancreatic cancer exist.

Bringing the 'sticky' back to pancreatic cancer
A multidisciplinary team of researchers at Japan's Tohoku University has found that a gene regulator, called BACH1, facilitates the spread of pancreatic cancer to other parts of the body.

Does lung damage speed pancreatic cancer?
High levels of CO2 in the body, due to chronic respiratory disorders, may exacerbate pancreatic cancer, making it more aggressive and resistant to therapy.

Scientists have identified the presence of cancer-suppressing cells in pancreatic cancer
Researchers have identified cells containing a protein called Meflin that has a role in restraining the progression of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer discovery reveals how the aggressive cancer fuels its growth
A new discovery about pancreatic cancer sheds light on how the cancer fuels its growth and may help explain how promising cancer drugs work -- and for whom they will fail.

Overcoming resistance in pancreatic cancer
In pancreatic cancer cells' struggle to survive, the cells choose alternative routes when their main pathways are blocked by drugs.

Exposing how pancreatic cancer does its dirty work
Pancreatic cancer is a puzzle -- tumors slough off cells into the bloodstream early in the disease, but the tumors themselves have almost no blood vessels in them.

Targeting cell division in pancreatic cancer
Study provides new evidence of synergistic effects of drugs that inhibit cell division and support for further clinical trials.

Read More: Pancreatic Cancer News and Pancreatic 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.