Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Oncol., 17 February 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2012.00014

Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons among never smokers in Golestan Province, Iran, an area of high incidence of esophageal cancer – a cross-sectional study with repeated measurement of urinary 1-OHPG in two seasons

Farhad Islami1,2,3*, Paolo Boffetta4,5, Frederik J. van Schooten6, Paul Strickland7, David H. Phillips8, Akram Pourshams2, Akbar Fazel-Tabar Malekshah2, Roger Godschalk6, Elham Jafari2, Arash Etemadi2,9, Salahadin Abubaker7, Farin Kamangar9, Kurt Straif1, Henrik Møller3, Joachim Schüz1 and Reza Malekzadeh2*
  • 1 International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
  • 2 Digestive Disease Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • 3 King’s College London, Thames Cancer Registry, London, UK
  • 4 International Prevention Research Institute, Lyon, France
  • 5 The Tisch Cancer Institute and Institute for Transitional Epidemiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA
  • 6 Department of Toxicology, NUTRIM, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands
  • 7 Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 8 Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis, Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK
  • 9 Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Studies have suggested a possible role of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the etiology of esophageal cancer in Golestan Province, Iran, where incidence of this cancer is very high. In order to investigate the patterns of non-smoking related exposure to PAHs in Golestan, we conducted a cross-sectional study collecting questionnaire data, genotyping polymorphisms related to PAH metabolism, and measuring levels of 1-hydroxypyrene glucuronide (1-OHPG), a PAH metabolite, in urine samples collected in two seasons from the same group of 111 randomly selected never-smoking women. Beta-coefficients for correlations between 1-OHPG as dependent variable and other variables were calculated using linear regression models. The creatinine-adjusted 1-OHPG levels in both winter and summer samples were approximately 110 μmol/molCr (P for seasonal difference = 0.40). In winter, red meat intake (β = 0.208; P = 0.03), processed meat intake (β = 0.218; P = 0.02), and GSTT1-02 polymorphism (“null” genotype: β = 0.228; P = 0.02) showed associations with 1-OHPG levels, while CYP1B1-07 polymorphism (GG versus AA + GA genotypes: β = –0.256; P = 0.008) showed an inverse association. In summer, making bread at home (> weekly versus never: β = 0.203; P = 0.04), second-hand smoke (exposure to ≥3 cigarettes versus no exposure: β = 0.254; P = 0.01), and GSTM1-02null” genotype (β = 0.198; P = 0.04) showed associations with 1-OHPG levels, but GSTP1-02 polymorphism (CT + TT versus CC: β = –0.218; P = 0.03) showed an inverse association. This study confirms high exposure of the general population in Golestan to PAHs and suggests that certain foods, cooking methods, and genetic polymorphisms increase exposure to PAHs.

Keywords: 1-hydroxypyrene glucuronide, esophageal cancer, frying, red meat, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, polymorphism

Citation: Islami F, Boffetta P, van Schooten FJ, Strickland P, Phillips DH, Pourshams A, Fazel-Tabar Malekshah A, Godschalk R, Jafari E, Etemadi A, Abubaker S, Kamangar F, Straif K, Møller H, Schüz J and Malekzadeh R (2012) Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons among never smokers in Golestan Province, Iran, an area of high incidence of esophageal cancer – a cross-sectional study with repeated measurement of urinary 1-OHPG in two seasons. Front. Oncol. 2:14. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2012.00014

Received: 17 October 2011; Accepted: 29 January 2012;
Published online: 17 February 2012.

Edited by:

Roel Vermeulen, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Reviewed by:

Michael Blaise Cook, National Cancer Institute, USA
David Michael DeMarini, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USA

Copyright: © 2012 Islami, Boffetta, van Schooten, Strickland, Phillips, Pourshams, Fazel-Tabar Malekshah, Godschalk, Jafari, Etemadi, Abubaker, Kamangar, Straif, Møller, Schüz and Malekzadeh. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Farhad Islami, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69008 Lyon, France. e-mail: farhad.islami@mssm.edu; Reza Malekzadeh, Digestive Disease Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital, Kargar Shomali Avenue, 14117 Tehran, Iran. e-mail: malek@ams.ac.ir