A new systematic review by scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and partners aims to provide the scientific community with an up-to-date overview of potential associations between mycotoxin exposures and human cancer development. The article was published in the journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in investigating the carcinogenicity of mycotoxins in humans, with the main focus on associations between mycotoxin exposure and primary cancers of the liver, breast, and cervix. This new study provides a clear overview of associations between aflatoxins and liver cancer risk, in line with the IARC Monographs classification. Furthermore, it makes a strong case for conducting more in-depth research on the carcinogenicity of other mycotoxins, such as zearalenone, fumonisin B1, deoxynivalenol, and ochratoxin A.
Few human epidemiological studies have investigated associations between these mycotoxins and cancer risk. Knowledge of their potential carcinogenicity is scarce or non-existent. The links between mycotoxin exposures and cancer risk have been established mainly in experimental studies and need to be confirmed in human epidemiological studies to formulate relevant evidence-based public health strategies.
Claeys L, Romano C, De Ruyck K, Wilson H, Fervers B, Korenjak M, et al.
Mycotoxin exposure and human cancer risk: a systematic review of epidemiological studies
Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf, Published online 20 May 2020;