Research in Translation

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The Alcohol Flushing Response: An Unrecognized Risk Factor for Esophageal Cancer from Alcohol Consumption

  • Published: March 24, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000050

Reader Comments (3)

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Disulfiram as a potential risk factor

Posted by jyaroch on 16 Apr 2009 at 07:26 GMT

Disulfiram, also known as Antabuse, inhibits acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. Although uncommon, there are people who take this drug, but continue to consume moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages.

The finding in the paper would imply that these persons are increasing their risk for esophageal cancer.

Obviously, there are ethical problems that would preclude a rigorous test of this hypothesis, and I doubt that the numbers are high enough for a naturalistic study to show anything conclusive. Even so, it might be appropriate for physicians who prescribe Antabuse to include this in the warnings they provide to patients.

No competing interests declared.