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Journal of Cancer Prevention


J Cancer Prev 2023; 28(4): 150-159

Published online December 30, 2023

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Cadmium-induced Carcinogenesis in Respiratory Organs and the Prostate: Insights from Three Perspectives on Toxicogenomic Approach

Jun Lee1 , Dong Yeop Shin1 , Yujin Jang1 , Jun Pyo Han1 , Eun-Min Cho2,* , Young Rok Seo1,*

1Department of Life Science, Institute of Environmental Medicine for Green Chemistry, Dongguk University Biomedi Campus, Goyang, 2Department of Nano, Chemical & Biological Engineering, College of Natural Science and Engineering, Seokyeong University, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to :
Eun-Min Cho, E-mail:,
Young Rok Seo, E-mail:, ORCID:
*These authors contributed equally to this work (paper) as co-correspondence authors.

Received: December 15, 2023; Accepted: December 25, 2023

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cadmium (Cd) exposure primarily occurs through inhalation, either by smoking or occupational exposure to contaminated air. Upon inhalation, Cd ultimately reaches the prostate through the bloodstream. In this review, we investigate the carcinogenic potential of Cd in both respiratory organs and the prostate. Specifically, this review examines cellular metabolism, comprehensive toxicity, and carcinogenic mechanisms by exploring gene ontology, biological networks, and adverse outcome pathways. In the respiratory organs, Cd induces lung cancer by altering the expression of IL1B and FGF2, causing DNA damage, reducing cell junction integrity, and promoting apoptosis. In the prostate, Cd induces prostate cancer by modifying the expression of EDN1 and HMOX1, leading to abnormal protein activities and maturation, suppressing tumor suppressors, and inducing apoptosis. Collectively, this review provides a comprehensive understanding of the carcinogenic mechanisms of Cd in two different organs by adopting toxicogenomic approaches. These insights can serve as a foundation for further research on cadmium-induced cancer, contributing to the establishment of future cancer prevention strategies.

Keywords: Cadmium, Carcinogenesis, Computational biology, Toxicogenetics, Adverse outcome pathways

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