Dietary acrylamide and human cancer

Claudio Pelucchi, Carlotta Galeone, Fabio Levi, Eva Negri, Silvia Franceschi, Renato Talamini, Cristina Bosetti, Attilio Giacosa, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low levels of acrylamide have been found in several foods cooked at high temperatures. While there is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of acrylamide in experimental animals, the few epidemiologic studies conducted to date on occupational and dietary exposure to acrylamide have found no consistent evidence of association with human cancer risk. Using data from an integrated network of Italian and Swiss hospital-based case-control studies, we analyzed the relation between dietary acrylamide intake and cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx (749 cases, 1,772 controls), esophagus (395 cases, 1,066 controls), large bowel (1,394 cases of colon, 886 cases of rectal cancer, 4,765 controls), larynx (527 cases, 1,297 controls), breast (2,900 cases, 3,122 controls), ovary (1,031 cases, 2,411 controls) and prostate (1,294 cases, 1,451 controls). All the studies included incident, histologically confirmed cancer cases and controls admitted to the same network of hospitals for acute nonneoplastic conditions. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) using multivariate logistic regression models, adjusted for energy intake and other major covariates of interest. The ORs for the highest versus the lowest quintile of acrylamide intake were 1.12 (95% CI = 0.76-1.66) for cancer of the oral cavity/pharynx, 1.10 (95% CI = 0.65-1.86) for esophageal, 0.97 (95% CI = 0.80-1.18) for colorectal, 1.23 (95% CI = 0.80-1.90) for laryngeal, 1.06 (95% CI = 0.88-1.28) for breast, 0.97 (95% CI = 0.73-1.31) for ovarian and 0.92 (95% CI = 0.69-1.23) for prostate cancer. None of the trend in risk was significant. This uniquely large and comprehensive data set does not show any consistent association between intake of acrylamide and the risk of breast and several other common cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-471
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2006


  • Cancer
  • Case-control
  • Dietary acrylamide
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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