Is cadmium a cause of human pancreatic cancer?

Gary G. Schwartz, Isildinha M. Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

136 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Little is known about the etiology of pancreatic cancer, which is an important cause of cancer mortality in developed countries. We hypothesize that exposure to cadmium is a cause of pancreatic cancer. Cadmium is a nonessential metal that is known to accumulate in the human pancreas. The major risk factors for pancreatic cancer (increasing age, cigarette smoking, residence in Louisiana, and occupations involving exposure to metalworking and pesticides) are all associated with increased exposure to cadmium. Our meta-analysis of cohorts with high exposure to cadmium is also consistent with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer (standardized mortality ratio = 166; 95% confidence interval, 98-280; P = 0.059). Cadmium can cause the transdifferentiation of pancreatic cells, increases in the synthesis of pancreatic DNA, and increases in oncogene activation. Thus, cadmium is a plausible pancreatic carcinogen. The cadmium hypothesis provides a coherent explanation for much of the descriptive epidemiology of pancreatic cancer and suggests new avenues for analytical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Volume9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000

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Cadmium
Pancreatic Neoplasms
Cell Transdifferentiation
Mortality
Oncogenes
Occupations
Developed Countries
Pesticides
Carcinogens
Meta-Analysis
Pancreas
Epidemiology
Smoking
Metals
Confidence Intervals
DNA
Research
Neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology

Cite this

Is cadmium a cause of human pancreatic cancer? / Schwartz, Gary G.; Reis, Isildinha M.

In: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, Vol. 9, No. 2, 01.02.2000, p. 139-145.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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