PMID: 10838209Jun 6, 2000Paper

Evaluation of fecal mutagenicity and colorectal cancer risk

Mutation Research
Theo M C M de Kok, J M van Maanen


Colorectal cancer is one of the most common internal malignancies in Western society. The cause of this disease appears to be multifactorial and involves genetic as well as environmental aspects. The human colon is continuously exposed to a complex mixture of compounds, which is either of direct dietary origin or the result of digestive, microbial and excretory processes. In order to establish the mutagenic burden of the colorectal mucosa, analysis of specific compounds in feces is usually preferred. Alternatively, the mutagenic potency of fecal extracts has been determined, but the interpretation of these more integrative measurements is hampered by methodological shortcomings. In this review, we focus on exposure of the large bowel to five different classes of fecal mutagens that have previously been related to colorectal cancer risk. These include heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), two exogenous factors that are predominantly ingested as pyrolysis products present in food and (partially) excreted in the feces. Additionally, we discuss N-nitroso-compounds, fecapentaenes and bile acids, all fecal constituents (mainly) of endogenous origin. The mutagenic and carcinogenic potency of th...Continue Reading


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