Red meat and poultry, cooking practices, genetic susceptibility and risk of prostate cancer: results from a multiethnic case-control study

Carcinogenesis. 2012 Nov;33(11):2108-18. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgs242. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


Red meat, processed and unprocessed, has been considered a potential prostate cancer (PCA) risk factor; epidemiological evidence, however, is inconclusive. An association between meat intake and PCA may be due to potent chemical carcinogens that are generated when meats are cooked at high temperatures. We investigated the association between red meat and poultry intake and localized and advanced PCA taking into account cooking practices and polymorphisms in enzymes that metabolize carcinogens that accumulate in cooked meats. We analyzed data for 1096 controls, 717 localized and 1140 advanced cases from the California Collaborative Prostate Cancer Study, a multiethnic, population-based case-control study. We examined nutrient density-adjusted intake of red meat and poultry and tested for effect modification by 12 SNPs and 2 copy number variants in 10 carcinogen metabolism genes: GSTP1, PTGS2, CYP1A2, CYP2E1, EPHX1, CYP1B1, UGT1A6, NAT2, GSTM1 and GSTT1. We observed a positive association between risk of advanced PCA and high intake of red meat cooked at high temperatures (trend P = 0.026), cooked by pan-frying (trend P = 0.035), and cooked until well-done (trend P = 0.013). An inverse association was observed for baked poultry and advanced PCA risk (trend P = 0.023). A gene-by-diet interaction was observed between an SNP in the PTGS2 gene and the estimated levels of meat mutagens (interaction P = 0.008). Our results support a role for carcinogens that accumulate in meats cooked at high temperatures as potential PCA risk factors, and may support a role for heterocyclic amines (HCAs) in PCA etiology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • California
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cooking*
  • Ethnicity / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Poultry*
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers, Tumor