DOI: 10.3390/toxins16010015 ISSN: 2072-6651

A Cohort Study Investigating Zearalenone Concentrations and Selected Steroid Levels in Patients with Sigmoid Colorectal Cancer or Colorectal Cancer

Sylwia Lisieska-Żołnierczyk, Magdalena Gajęcka, Michał Dąbrowski, Łukasz Zielonka, Maciej T. Gajęcki
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology

The aim: In this study was to determine if sigmoid colorectal cancer (SCC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) in women (W) and men (M) is accompanied by zearalenone (ZEN) mycotoxicosis and changes in selected steroid levels. Materials and Methods: This cohort study was conducted on female and male patients selected from a population based on the presence of SCC or CRC, which was accompanied by the presence or absence (control group) of ZEN in their blood. The control group consisted of 17 patients with symptoms of SCC and CRC, where ZEN and its metabolites were not detected in the peripheral blood. The experimental groups comprised a total of 16 patients with SCC and CRC, where ZEN, but not its metabolites, was detected in their peripheral blood samples. Results: In groups SCC and CRC, the ZEN levels were very high, in the range from 214 to 289 ng/mL of blood. Considerable variations were observed in the concentrations of steroid hormones. Estradiol (E2) levels ranged from 166.25 (group C) to 325 pg/mL (group CRC) in women and from 98 (group C) to 95.5 pg/mL (group CRC) in men. Progesterone (P4) levels ranged from 12.09 (group C) to 13.64 ng/mL (group SCC) in women and from 6.98 (group CRC) to 12.01 ng/mL (group C) in men. Conclusions: These results indicate that post-menopausal women and similarly aged elderly men have a high and individualized demand for estrogen that is relatively effectively met by ZEN, which triggers qualitative changes in estrogen receptors. The shortage of ZEN metabolites (values under the sensitivity of the method) confirmed the high estrogen demand in the studied subjects. The presence or absence of ZEN could have influenced the therapeutic outcomes in the analyzed patients.

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