Cancer Etiology - Role of N-nitroso Compounds and Gastric Acidity in the Etiology of Pancreas Cancer in China


Harvey A. Risch

Herbert Yu

Although there have been many studies on the etiology of pancreatic cancer, aside from the consistent identification of tobacco smoking as a risk factor, the mechanism of how this or other risk factors work is not well understood. Dietary factors linked to pancreatic cancer have not been consistent, but they have indicated a higher risk associated with smoked or processed meats, and a decreased risk with the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

CDE faculty have sought to test a theory that the risk for pancreatic cancer is increased by longer–term conditions of excess gastric/duodenal acidity and by frequent gastrointestinal or other exposures to N–nitroso compounds and their precursors. A study is currently underway in Connecticut to assess the association between helicobacter pylori, diet and pancreatic cancer. Additionally, the same study is being carried out in Shanghai, China and Queensland, Australia.