New Marker of Colon Cancer Risk Associated with Heme Intake: 1,4-Dihydroxynonane Mercapturic Acid

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New Marker of Colon Cancer Risk Associated with Heme Intake: 1,4-Dihydroxynonane Mercapturic Acid

American Association for Cancer Research Inc
  • Cancer


Background: Red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. Animal studies show that heme, found in red meat, promotes preneoplastic lesions in the colon, probably due to the oxidative properties of this compound. End products of lipid peroxidation, such as 4-hydroxynonenal metabolites or 8-iso-prostaglandin-F2 (8-iso-PGF2), could reflect this oxidative process and could be used as biomarkers of colon cancer risk associated with heme intake. Methods: We measured urinary excretion of 8-iso-PGF2 and 1,4-dihydroxynonane mercapturic acid (DHN-MA), the major urinary metabolite of 4-hydroxynonenal, in three studies. In a short-term and a carcinogenesis long-term animal study, we fed rats four different diets (control, chicken, beef, and blood sausage as a high heme diet). In a randomized crossover human study, four different diets were fed (a 60 g/d red meat baseline diet, 120 g/d red meat, baseline diet supplemented with heme iron, and baseline diet supplemented with non-heme iron). Results: DHN-MA excretion increased dramatically in rats fed high heme diets, and the excretion paralleled the number of preneoplastic lesions in azoxymethane initiated rats (P < 0.0001). In the human study, the heme supplemented diet resulted in a 2-fold increase in DHN-MA (P < 0.001). Urinary 8-iso-PGF2 increased moderately in rats fed a high heme diet (P < 0.0001), but not in humans. Conclusion: Urinary DHN-MA is a useful noninvasive biomarker for determining the risk of preneoplastic lesions associated with heme iron consumption and should be further investigated as a potential biomarker of colon cancer risk. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006;15(11):2274–9)

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