A recent study has linked an increased risk of kidney cancer to certain meat-cooking mutagens. A team of investigators, led by Xifeng Wu, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, reviewed 659 cases of newly diagnosed renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and nearly 700 controls to determine the possible impact of meat-cooking mutagens.

Possible impact of RCC susceptibility variants, identified via genome-wide association studies, on the mutagenic compound and cancer interaction was also examined.1

The investigators determined that greater consumption of white and red meat can be linked to increased risk of kidney cancer.

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High-temperature cooking, such as grilling and pan-frying, also may increase cancer risk due to consumption of 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo(4,5-f) quinoxaline (MeIQx), a heterocyclic amine typically created by these forms of cooking.

Persons with certain genetic variants were found to be at increased cancer risk due to ingestion of these chemical compounds.

The investigators feel that further research into the biologic triggering agents behind the mutagen and cancer interaction is needed. Research respondents were limited to non-Hispanic whites.

The results of this study were published online in the journal Cancer.


1. Melkonian SC, Daniel CR, Ye Y, et al. Gene-environment interaction of genome-wide association study-identified susceptibility loci and meat-cooking mutagens in the etiology of renal cell carcinoma [published online ahead of print November 9, 2015]. Cancer. doi:10.1002/cncr.29543.