Systemic and Tumor Level Iron Regulation in Men With Colorectal Cancer: A Case Control Study

Cenk K Pusatcioglu; Elizabeta Nemeth; Giamila Fantuzzi; Xavier Llor; Sally Freels; Lisa Tussing-Humphreys; Robert J Cabay; Rose Linzmeier; Damond Ng; Julia Clark; Carol Braunschweig


Nutr Metab. 2014;11(21) 

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In summary, our study demonstrates for the first time that CRC in some men is associated with a mixed anemia pathology characterized by iron restricted erythropoiesis. We believe the simultaneous presence of inflammation (increases hepcidin) and iron insufficiency (suppresses hepcidin) in a subset of our men with CRC resulted in hepcidin concentrations inappropriately elevated given their depleted iron status. Further, these findings suggest that systemic hepcidin in some CRC cases may 1) decrease duodenal iron absorption resulting in low iron status and 2) contribute to excess colonic iron exposure and disease promotion. Given the high incidence of CRC and the accompanying low iron status, these findings could have significant clinical implications.[21,43] Future investigations into the risks and benefits of dietary iron intake and oral iron supplementation in persons with CRC are warranted.