Thyroid cancer incidence is significantly increased in volcanic areas, where relevant non-anthropogenic pollution with heavy metals is present in the environment. This review will discuss whether chronic lifelong exposure to slightly increased levels of metals can contribute to the increase in thyroid cancer in the residents of a volcanic area. The influence of metals on living cells depends on the physicochemical properties of the metals and their interaction with the target cell metallostasis network, which includes transporters, intracellular binding proteins, and metal-responsive elements. Very little is known about the carcinogenic potential of slightly increased metal levels on the thyroid, which might be more sensitive to mutagenic damage because of its unique biology related to iodine, which is a very reactive and strongly oxidizing agent. Different mechanisms could explain the specific carcinogenic effect of borderline/high environmental levels of metals on the thyroid, including (a) hormesis, the nonlinear response to chemicals causing important biological effects at low concentrations; (b) metal accumulation in the thyroid relative to other tissues; and (c) the specific effects of a mixture of different metals. Recent evidence related to all of these mechanisms is now available, and the data are compatible with a cause–effect relationship between increased metal levels in the environment and an increase in thyroid cancer incidence.

Increased thyroid cancer incidence in volcanic areas: A role of increased heavy metals in the environment?

Malandrino P.;Russo M.;Pellegriti G.;Vigneri P.;Belfiore A.;Rizzarelli E.;Vigneri R.
2020

Abstract

Thyroid cancer incidence is significantly increased in volcanic areas, where relevant non-anthropogenic pollution with heavy metals is present in the environment. This review will discuss whether chronic lifelong exposure to slightly increased levels of metals can contribute to the increase in thyroid cancer in the residents of a volcanic area. The influence of metals on living cells depends on the physicochemical properties of the metals and their interaction with the target cell metallostasis network, which includes transporters, intracellular binding proteins, and metal-responsive elements. Very little is known about the carcinogenic potential of slightly increased metal levels on the thyroid, which might be more sensitive to mutagenic damage because of its unique biology related to iodine, which is a very reactive and strongly oxidizing agent. Different mechanisms could explain the specific carcinogenic effect of borderline/high environmental levels of metals on the thyroid, including (a) hormesis, the nonlinear response to chemicals causing important biological effects at low concentrations; (b) metal accumulation in the thyroid relative to other tissues; and (c) the specific effects of a mixture of different metals. Recent evidence related to all of these mechanisms is now available, and the data are compatible with a cause–effect relationship between increased metal levels in the environment and an increase in thyroid cancer incidence.
Carcinogens
Environment pollution
Hormesis
Metal biocontamination
Metallome
Metals
Thyroid
Thyroid cancer
Volcano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/495062
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