European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 247, Issue 6, pp 368–370 | Cite as

Relationships of vitamins A and E and beta-carotene serum levels to head and neck cancer patients with and without second primary tumors

  • N. de Vries
  • G. B. Snow
Original Investigations


Second primary tumors constitute one of the most challenging problems in head and neck cancer. Their etiology is not yet fully understood. For this reason, we studied the relationships of vitamins A and E and beta-carotene serum levels in patients with head and neck cancer with and without second primary tumors. The results indicate lowered levels of beta-carotene in both groups of patients, while the levels of vitamin A and vitamin E were statistically significantly lower in patients with second tumors than in the group with a single head and neck cancer. This suggests that low vitamin A and vitamin E levels may play a role in the etiology of second tumors in head and neck cancer patients.

Key words

Head and neck cancer Second primary tumor Vitamin A Vitamin E Beta-carotene 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bichler E, Daxenbichler G (1982) Retinoic acid-binding protein in human squamous cell carcinomas of the ORL region. Cancer 49:619–621Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Byers T (1988) Diet and cancer: any progress in the interim? Cancer 62:1713–1724Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC (1987) Diet and lung cancer: a review of the epidemiologic evidence in humans. Arch Intern Med 147:157–160Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    De Vries N (1990) Magnitude of the problem. In: De Vries N, Gluckman JL (eds) Second primary tumors in head and neck cancer. Thieme, Stuttgart (in press)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    De Vries N, De Lange G, Drexhage HA, Snow GB (1987) Immunoglobulin allotypes in head and neck cancer patients with multiple primary tumors. Acta Otolaryngol (Stockh) 104:187–191Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    De Vries N, Drexhage HA, De Waal LP, De Lange G, Snow GB (1987) Human leucocyte antigens and immunoglobulin allotypes in head and neck cancer patients with and without multiple primary tumors. Cancer 60:957–961Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fex G, Wahlberg P, Biorklund A, Wennerberg J, Willen R (1986) Studies of cellular retinol-binding protein (CRBP) in squamous-cell carcinomas of the head and neck region. Int J Cancer 37:217–221Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Friedman GD, Blaner WS, Goodman DS, Vogelman JH, Brind JL, Hoover R, Fireman BH, Orentreich N (1986) Serum retinol and retinol-binding protein levels do not predict subsequent lung cancer. Am J Epidemiol 123:781–789Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gerster H (1987) Beta-carotene and smoking. J Nutr Growth Cancer 4:45–49Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gluckman JL, Crissman JD (1983) Survival rates in 548 patients with multiple neoplasms of the upper aerodigestive tract. Laryngoscope 93:71–74Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gluckman JL, Crissman JD, Donegan JO (1980) Multicentric squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract. Head Neck Surg 3:90–96Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Goepfert H (1984) Are we making any progress? Arch Otolaryngol 11:562–563Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hodge KM, Flynn MB, Drury T (1985) Squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract in non-users of tobacco. Cancer 55:1232–1235Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hordijk GJ, Jong JMA de (1983) Synchronous and metachronous tumours in patients with head and neck cancer. J Laryngol Otol 97:619–621Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lippman SM, Lee JS, Lotan R, Hong WK (1989) Chemoprevention of upper aerodigestive tract cancer: a report of the Third Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Task Force Workshop. Head Neck Surg 12:5–18Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Menkes MS, Comstock GW, Vuilleumier JP, Helsing KJ, Ruder AA, Brookmeyer R (1986) Serum beta-carotene, vitamins A and E, selenium, and the risk of lung cancer. N Engl J Med 315:1250–1254Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pastorino U, Soresi E, Clerici M, Chiesa G, Belloni PA, Ongari M, Valente M, Ravasi G (1988) Lung cancer chemoprevention with retinol palmitate. Acta Oncol 27:773–782Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pastorino U, De Vries N, Van Zandwijk N (1988) Euroscan: EORTC study on screening and chemoprevention with vitamin A and/or N-acetyl-cystein. Eur Cancer News 1:1–3Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Peto R, Doll R, Buckley JD, Sporn MB (1981) Can dietary beta-carotene materially reduce human cancer rates? Nature 290:201–208Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Salonen JT, Salonen R, Lappetelainen R, Maenpaa PH, Alfthan G, Puska P (1985) Risk of cancer in relation to serum concentrations of selenium and vitamins A and E: matched case-control analysis of prospective data. Br Med J 290:417–420Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Wagenfeld DJH, Harwood AR, Bryce DP, Nostrand P van, Boer G de (1981) Second primary respiratory tract malignant neoplasms in supraglottic carcinoma. Arch Otolaryngol 102: 135–137Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wald N, Boreham J, Idle M, Bailey A (1980) Low serum-vitamin A and subsequent risk of cancer: preliminary results of a prospective study. Lancet 11: 813–815Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. de Vries
    • 1
  • G. B. Snow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck SurgeryFree University HospitalHV AmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations