Analysis of environmental carcinogens associated with the incidence of lung cancer

Hiroshi Tokiwa, Yoichi Nakanishi, Nobuyuki Sera, Nobuyuki Hara, Satoru Inuzuka

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29 Citations (Scopus)


It is presumed that carcinogens present in human lungs contribute to the incidence of lung cancer. Most of the carcinogens are inhaled in lung alveoli with particulate matter through the respiratory tract. On the basis of chemical analysis of 256 lung specimens with carcinomas resected in the period 1991-1996, the concentration of 1-nitropyrene (1-NP) was 19.7±10.5 pg/g of dry weight, and that of the dinitropyrenes (DNP) was 3.50±0.14-6.26±1.76. In addition, 2-nitrofluoranthene (NF) and 3-NF were detected at a higher level of 38.6±17.2 and 39.1±14.2, respectively, pg/g of dry weight. Concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[e]pyrene, benzo[k]fluoranthene and benzo[ghi]perylene in 37 specimens collected in the period 1991-1996, were in the range of 138±82-399±220 pg/g of dry weight. No difference was found in the concentration of chemicals deposited in lung specimens from patients with lung cancer and tuberculosis as a control. By following the prognosis of 112 patients with carcinomas, we found that the deposition of 1-NP, 1,3-DNP, and 3-NF in lung tissues influenced their 5-year-survival after determination of chemicals. Lung specimens were divided into two groups of higher and lower chemical concentrations at the levels of 18 pg/g for 1-NP, 15 for 1,3-DNP, and 35 for 3-NF, and the findings were statistically analyzed by adjusting for age, gender, smoking status and cell type. The 5-year-survival of patients was markedly lower in the higher concentration group than the lower group. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 30 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology


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