Cadmium exposure as a putative risk factor for the development of pancreatic cancer: Three different lines of evidence

Aleksandra Buha, David Wallace, Vesna Matovic, Amie Schweitzer, Branislav Oluic, Dusan Micic, Vladimir Djordjevic

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73 Scopus citations


Although profoundly studied, etiology of pancreatic cancer (PC) is still rather scant. Exposure to cadmium (Cd), a ubiquitous metal associated with well-established toxic and carcinogenic properties, has been hypothesized to one putative cause of PC. Hence, we analyzed recently published observational studies, meta-Analyses, and experimental animal and in vitro studies with the aim of summarizing the evidence of Cd involvement in PC development and describing the possible mechanisms. Consolidation of epidemiological data on PC and exposure to Cd indicated a significant association with an elevated risk of PC among general population exposed to Cd. Cadmium exposure of laboratory animals was showed to cause PC supporting the findings suggested by human studies. The concordance with human and animal studies is buttressed by in vitro studies, although in vitro data interpretation is problematic. In most instances, only significant effects are reported, and the concentrations of Cd are excessive, which would skew interpretation. Previous reports suggest that oxidative stress, apoptotic changes, and DNA cross-linking and hypermethylation are involved in Cd-mediated carcinogenesis. Undoubtedly, a significant amount of work is still needed to achieve a better understanding of the Cd involvement in pancreatic cancer which could facilitate prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of this fatal disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1981837
JournalBioMed Research International
StatePublished - 2017


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