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Archived Comments for: Spatial trends of breast and prostate cancers in the United States between 2000 and 2005

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  1. Solar ultraviolet-B doses/vitamin D and ethnic heritage play important roles in breast and prostate cancer incidence rate variations, respectively

    William B. Grant, Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center (SUNARC)

    21 April 2010

    The paper on spatial trends of breast and prostate cancer incidence rates in the United States [1] presents interesting data but overlooks a significant portion of the literature on ecological studies of cancer mortality rates in the United States related to solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) doses and other risk modifying factors. A set of such papers is provided here published prior to submission of this paper [2-5]. In addition, there have been more since that paper was submitted [6,7]. These and other ecological studies have been reviewed recently [8,9]. The role of vitamin D in reducing risk of cancer has also been reviewed recently [10,11]. Other factors included in the ecological studies of white Americans [3-7] were air pollution, alcohol consumption, dietary iron and zinc, Hispanic heritage, smoking, urban/rural residence, and viral infections.

    As noted in [1], the patterns for breast and prostate cancer have similarities and differences. One of the similarities is related to increased risk for those eating the Western diet [12,13]. However, one of the differences is that vitamin D is not associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer incidence [14] although it is associated with reduced case-fatality rate [15]. Having studied the geographical variation of prostate cancer mortality rates in the United States for a decade, my research turned in a new direction after finding the map of country of greatest ancestry by county in the United States for the year 2000 [16]. Many of the features correlated very closely with features in the prostate cancer mortality map [17]. This finding led to the hypothesis that ethnic background played a very important role in the etiology of prostate cancer and to a paper in which it was proposed that prevalence of Apolipoprotein E 4 was an important risk factor and supported by a multi-country ecological study [18]. Prostate cancer is the only cancer for which cholesterol is a risk factor [19]. This hypothesis will be investigated by researchers who have ongoing cohort studies with tissue samples that can be used for DNA analysis.

    1. Mandal R, St-Hilaire S, Kie JG, Derryberry D. Spatial trends of breast and prostate cancers in the United States between 2000 and 2005. Int J Health Geogr. 2009, 8:53.

    2. Garland FC, Garland CF, Gorham ED, Young JF. Geographic variation in breast cancer mortality in the United States: a hypothesis involving exposure to solar radiation. Prev Med. 1990, 19(6):614-622.

    3. Grant WB. An ecologic study of dietary and solar ultraviolet-B links to breast carcinoma mortality rates. Cancer. 2002, 94(1):272-281.

    4. Grant WB, Garland CF. The association of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) with reducing risk of cancer: multifactorial ecologic analysis of geographic variation in age-adjusted cancer mortality rates. Anticancer Res. 2006, 26(4A):2687-2699.

    5. Grant WB. Hypothesis-Ultraviolet-B irradiance and vitamin D reduce the risk of viral infections and thus their sequelae, including autoimmune diseases and some cancers. Photochem Photobiol. 2008, 84(2):356-365.

    6. Grant WB. An ecological study of cancer mortality rates including indices for dietary iron and zinc. Anticancer Res. 2008, 28(3B):1955-1963.

    7. Grant WB. Air pollution in relation to U.S. cancer mortality rates: An ecological study; likely role of carbonaceous aerosols and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Anticancer Res, 2009, 29(9):3537-3545.

    8. Mohr SB. A brief history of vitamin D and cancer prevention. Ann Epidemiol. 2009, 19(2):79-83.

    9. Grant WB, Mohr SB. Ecological studies of ultraviolet B, vitamin D and cancer since 2000. Ann Epidemiol. 2009, 19(7):446-454.

    10. Grant WB. How strong is the evidence that solar ultraviolet B and vitamin D reduce the risk of cancer? An examination using Hill’s criteria for causality. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2009, 1(1):17-24.

    11. Grant WB. A critical review of Vitamin D and Cancer: A report of the IARC Working Group on vitamin D. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2009, 1(1):25-33.

    12. Grant WB. An ecologic study of dietary and solar ultraviolet-B links to breast carcinoma mortality rates. Cancer. 2002, 94(1):272-281.

    13. Grant WB. A multicountry ecologic study of risk and risk reduction factors for prostate cancer mortality. Eur Urol. 2004, 45(3):271-279.

    14. Gupta D, Lammersfeld CA, Trukova K, Lis CG. Vitamin D and prostate cancer risk: a review of the epidemiological literature. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2009, 12(3):215-226.

    15. Tretli S, Hernes E, Berg JP, Hestvik UE, Robsahm TE. Association between serum 25(OH)D and death from prostate cancer. Br J Cancer. 2009, 100(3):450-454.

    16. Brittingham A, de la Cruz GP. Ancestry 2000. Census 2000 Brief CK2BR-35. U. S. Dept. of Commerce, Census Bureau. Washington, DC. 2004, p. 9. (accessed December 16, 2009)

    17. Devesa SS, Grauman DJ, Blot WJ, Pennello GA, Hoover RN and Fraumeni JFJ. Atlas of Cancer Mortality in the United States, 1950-1994. NIH Publication No. 99-4564. National Institute of Health, 1999. (accessed April 21, 2010)

    18. Grant WB. A multicountry ecological study of risk-modifying factors for prostate cancer: Apolipoprotein E 4 as a risk factor and cereals as a risk reduction factor. Anticancer Res. 2010, 30:189-199.

    19. Iso H, Ikeda A, Inoue M, Sato S, Tsugane S. Serum cholesterol levels in relation to the incidence of cancer: The JPHC Study Cohorts. Int J Cancer. 2009, 125(11):2679-2686.

    Competing interests

    I receive funding from the UV Foundation (McLean, VA), the Sunlight Research Forum (Veldhoven), Bio-Tech-Pharmacal (Fayetteville, AR), and the Vitamin D Council (San Luis Obispo, CA), and have received funding from the Vitamin D Society (Canada).