"Forever chemicals" (PFAS) and cancer

The project will use samples from the population-based Janus Serum Bank as a "time machine" to explore the relationship between kidney and testicular cancer and exposure to "Eternal Chemicals" Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).

The figures from the Cancer Registry indicate an increase in urological cancers in the Norwegian population. Exposure to environmental factors such as harmful chemicals seems to influence the development of urological cancer more than genetic factors. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as "Forever Chemicals," are a group of persistent and bioaccumulative chemicals classified as potential carcinogens. Some studies have reported an increased incidence of urological cancer with PFAS exposure, but clear evidence at the population level is still lacking.




We aim to fill this knowledge gap by investigating the relationship between kidney and testicular cancer and exposure to PFAS. These cancer types have shown an increased incidence since the introduction of PFAS in Norway. We will use blood samples from the "archive" Janus Serum Bank to go back to the time when PFAS was introduced and measure PFAS levels in historical samples from over 1000 patients and an equally large control group. We will also explore associations with occupation and residence, as well as possible molecular changes due to PFAS exposure. Using mathematical modeling, we will examine the dynamics of PFAS levels in individuals over time.

Our goal is to assess the risk of PFAS exposure for the population, identify potential exposure biomarkers, and establish reference values that can assist authorities worldwide in developing preventive strategies.


Illustration: Julita Jakubiec