Acrylamide, classified in 1994 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as "probably carcinogenic" to humans, was discovered in 2002 in some heat-treated, carbohydrate-rich foods. The association between dietary acrylamide intake and epithelial ovarian cancer risk (EOC) has been previously studied in one case-control and three prospective cohort studies which obtained inconsistent results and could not further examine histologic subtypes other than serous EOC. The present study was carried out in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) subcohort of women (n = 325,006). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the association between questionnaire-based acrylamide intake and EOC risk. Acrylamide was energy-adjusted using the residual method and was evaluated both as a continuous variable (per 10 μg/d) and in quintiles; when subgroups by histologic EOC subtypes were analyzed, acrylamide intake was evaluated in quartiles. During a mean follow-up of 11 years, 1,191 incident EOC cases were diagnosed. At baseline, the median acrylamide intake in EPIC was 21.3 μg/d. No associations and no evidence for a dose-response were observed between energy-adjusted acrylamide intake and EOC risk (HR10μg/d,1.02; 95% CI, 0.96-1.09; HRQ5vsQ1, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.76-1.23). No differences were seen when invasive EOC subtypes (582 serous, 118 endometrioid, and 79 mucinous tumors) were analyzed separately. This study did not provide evidence that acrylamide intake, based on food intake questionnaires, was associated with risk for EOC in EPIC. Additional studies with more reliable estimates of exposure based on biomarkers may be needed.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev

Publication Date





291 - 297


Acrylamide, Cohort Studies, Europe, Humans, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial, Nutrition Assessment, Ovarian Neoplasms, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors