Journal Article

Volatile nitrosamines and tobacco-specific nitrosamines in the smoke of Thai cigarettes: a risk factor for lung cancer and a suspected risk factor for liver cancer in Thailand

Eugene J. Mitacek, Klaus D. Brunnemann, Dietrich Hoffmann, Thira Limsila, Maitree Suttajit, Nimit Martin and Lee S. Caplan

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 20, issue 1, pages 133-137
Published in print January 1999 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/20.1.133
Volatile nitrosamines and tobacco-specific nitrosamines in the smoke of Thai cigarettes: a risk factor for lung cancer and a suspected risk factor for liver cancer in Thailand

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In Thailand, smoking of commercial cigarettes and of handmade cigarettes has drastically increased in recent decades. Cancer of the lung and of the upper aerodigestive tract have also increased in Thailand as they have in many other countries. It is our working hypothesis that the increase of primary cancer of the liver, especially of cholangiocarcinoma in the north-eastern provinces of Thailand is associated with the use of tobacco in men infested with the liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini (OV). Bioassays have shown that volatile nitrosamines and tobacco-specific nitrosamines induce cholangiocarcinoma in laboratory animals and that the hepatocarcinogenic action of nitrosodimethylamine in hamsters is significantly increased by infestation with the liver fluke OV. The endogenous formation of nitrosamines is significantly increased by OV infestation. This report presents analytical data on the concentration of volatile nitrosamines and tobacco-specific nitrosamines in mainstream smoke of nine leading brands of commercially produced Thai cigarettes which represent ~85% of the market share in Thailand. Observed ranges (ng/cigarette) were 8.5–31.9 for nitrosodimethylamine, 8.8–49.6 for nitrosopyrrolidine and 4.2–18.9 for nitrosodi-n-butylamine. These values are exceptionally high compared with the smoke of light and blended cigarettes from North America and Western Europe. Among the tobacco-specific nitrosamines, the range was 28–730 for nitrosonornicotine and 16–370 for 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone. There was a correla-tion between volatile and tobacco-specific nitrosamines, and tar and nicotine deliveries in the mainstream smoke. The analytical data are in line with the rate for lung cancer and support our working hypothesis that nitrosamines, and especially the tobacco-specific nitrosamines, are associated with the increased risk for primary liver cancer among those Thai people who smoke cigarettes and also carry OV infestation.

Keywords: CCA, cholangiocarcinoma; HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma; NAB, nitrosoanabasine; NAT, nitrosoanatabine; NDBA, nitrosodi-n-butylamine; NDMA, nitrosodimethylamine; NNN, nitrosonornicotine; NNK, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone; NPYR, nitrosopyrrolidine; OV, Opisthorchis viverrini; PAH, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons; TSNA, tobacco-specific nitrosamines; VNA, volatile nitrosamines.

Journal Article.  4348 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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