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Ulrika Ericson

Ulrika Ericson

Associate professor

Ulrika Ericson

Mycotoxin Exposure and Renal Cell Carcinoma Risk : An Association Study in the EPIC European Cohort


  • Liesel Claeys
  • Sarah De Saeger
  • Ghislaine Scelo
  • Carine Biessy
  • Corinne Casagrande
  • Genevieve Nicolas
  • Michael Korenjak
  • Beatrice Fervers
  • Alicia K. Heath
  • Vittorio Krogh
  • Leila Luján-Barroso
  • Jesús Castilla
  • Börje Ljungberg
  • Miguel Rodriguez-Barranco
  • Ulrika Ericson
  • Carmen Santiuste
  • Alberto Catalano
  • Kim Overvad
  • Magritt Brustad
  • Marc J. Gunter
  • Jiri Zavadil
  • Marthe De Boevre
  • Inge Huybrechts

Summary, in English

Background: Mycotoxins have been suggested to contribute to a spectrum of adverse health effects in humans, including at low concentrations. The recognition of these food contaminants being carcinogenic, as co-occurring rather than as singularly present, has emerged from recent research. The aim of this study was to assess the potential associations of single and multiple mycotoxin exposures with renal cell carcinoma risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Methods: Food questionnaire data from the EPIC cohort were matched to mycotoxin food occurrence data compiled by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from European Member States to assess long-term dietary mycotoxin exposures, and to associate these with the risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC, n = 911 cases) in 450,112 EPIC participants. Potential confounding factors were taken into account. Analyses were conducted using Cox’s proportional hazards regression models to compute hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) with mycotoxin exposures expressed as µg/kg body weight/day. Results: Demographic characteristics differed between the RCC cases and non-cases for body mass index, age, alcohol intake at recruitment, and other dietary factors. In addition, the mycotoxin exposure distributions showed that a large proportion of the EPIC population was exposed to some of the main mycotoxins present in European foods such as deoxynivalenol (DON) and derivatives, fumonisins, Fusarium toxins, Alternaria toxins, and total mycotoxins. Nevertheless, no statistically significant associations were observed between the studied mycotoxins and mycotoxin groups, and the risk of RCC development. Conclusions: These results show an absence of statistically significant associations between long-term dietary mycotoxin exposures and RCC risk. However, these results need to be validated in other cohorts and preferably using repeated dietary exposure measurements. In addition, more occurrence data of, e.g., citrinin and fumonisins in different food commodities and countries in the EFSA database are a prerequisite to establish a greater degree of certainty.


  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden

Publishing year










Document type

Journal article




  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • epidemiology
  • Europe
  • exposure
  • external assessment
  • kidney cancer
  • mycotoxins
  • prevention
  • renal cancer



Research group

  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease


  • ISSN: 2072-6643