Synergistic increase of oxidative stress and tumor markers in PAH-exposed workers

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(17):7105-12. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.17.7105.


In this study, we investigated oxidative stress and tumor marker levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 136 coke oven workers and in 60 control subjects, and evaluated the correlation between oxidative stress and tumor marker levels. Questionnaires on basic demographic information were also administered. Significant differences in employment time and percentages of alcohol drinkers were observed between the control and exposed groups. PAH exposure was assessed using urinary 1-hydroxy-pyrene (1-OHP) levels and was found to be significantly higher in workers than in the controls. Significant differences (P<0.001) of MDA, GST, LDH, NSE, Cyfra21-1, and of SCC and TNF-a (P<0.0001 and P<0.05, P<0.001, respectively) levels were observed among controls and coke-oven workers, except for bottom coke oven workers. Associations between age and risk of increased TNF-a, smoking and increased GST activities, and drinking with increased MDA concentrations, were marginal (P=0.055, P=0.048, P=0.057, respectively). The association between smoking with MDA (P=0.004), NSE (P=0.005), SCC (P=0.004) and TNF-a (P<0.001), and drinking with TNF-a levels was significant (P=0.012). In addition, a significant positive correlation between oxidative stress and tumor markers was found in the present study. These results suggest that a synergistic increase of oxidative stress and tumor markers induced by PAHs may play a role in toxic responses for PAHs in coke oven workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / blood
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / urine
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coke
  • Glutathione Transferase / blood
  • Humans
  • Keratin-19 / blood
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Manufacturing Industry*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / blood
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons*
  • Pyrenes / urine
  • Serpins / blood
  • Smoking / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Coke
  • Keratin-19
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Pyrenes
  • Serpins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • antigen CYFRA21.1
  • squamous cell carcinoma-related antigen
  • Malondialdehyde
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase
  • 1-hydroxypyrene