Our project aims at investigating the possibility that aluminium contributes to human cancer, in particular breast cancer. The concept that a metal can act as a human carcinogen is not new. Other metals are formally recognized as human carcinogens. These are nickel, cadmium, beryllium, arsenic and hexavalent chromium. In spite of aluminium’s abundance in the earth crust, where is the most abundant metal, no one single biochemical process has ever used or uses aluminium as co-factor during life evolution. Yet, it accumulates in several human organs – including the breast – for reasons that are currently poorly understood. Whereas it is generally acknowledged that at relatively high doses – as they can be observed in chronic renal insufficiency – aluminium is neurotoxic, little is known regarding the toxicity of the doses of aluminium that the body presumably experiences during an ordinary life. Thus, in contrast to metals whose carcinogenicity is well established – and that are, obviously, severely restricted – aluminium is present in many aspects of our life, depsite the long existing doubts on its innocuousness.


Stefano Mandriota, Fondation des grangettes

Role of aluminium in breast carcinogenesis