Immunoassay for serum cadmium: A new tool to assess risk for pancreatic cancer


Diane A. Blake1, Alison M. Kriegel1, and Amr Soliman2. (1) Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112, (2) M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX
Pancreatic cancer is the most lethal of the major malignancies. Although little is known about its etiology, cadmium exposure has been hypothesized as a significant risk factor. An antibody-based test for serum cadmium (Darwish and Blake, Anal. Chem.; 2002, 74:52) was used to measure cadmium in the serum of 34 newly-diagnosed pancreatic cancer patients from 2 cancer centers in Egypt and in 52 hospital-based controls. Pancreatic cancer patients had significantly higher levels of serum cadmium (mean  SD, 10.8  9.2 µg/L) than controls (3.9  7.8 µg/L) (p=0.002). Serum cadmium levels were not related to smoking or subjects’ residence in urban versus rural environments. Subjects with high serum cadmium levels were employed in occupations related to industrial and agricultural exposures. (Supported by grants from the Topfer fund for pancreatic cancer research at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, K07-CA090241, R03-CA99513, and DHHS/CDCR04/CCR419466-01).