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Chemical factors in development of liver cancer in Tajikistan


The role of chemical factors in development of liver cancer in Tajikistan: clinics, pathogenesis and prevention

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • MED-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Medicine

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Gastroenterology, Academy of Sciences, Republic of Tajikistan, Tajikistan, Dushanbe


  • University of Trieste, Italy, Universiti of Trieste\nUniversitats Klinikum, Germany, Freiburg\nInstituto Nazionale di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere o, Italy, Bari\nImperial College London / Division of Medicine, UK, London

Project summary

Liver cancer, which is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, is characterised by a high mortality rate and ranks third in overall global cancer mortality [1, 2]. In most countries hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the predominant type of primary liver malignancies, accounting for 80-85% of all cases [3]. Primary liver cancer, its prevalence is directly dependent on the geographic area. In Central Africa and South-East Asia, primary liver cancer has the highest prevalence (> 20 cases per 100’000 population), in Greece and Italy 10-20 and in the United States 5-10 cases per 100’000 population.
Tajikistan population primarily consumes cereal-based foods, such as rice, corn, nuts, peanuts, and spices in their daily diet. Mycotoxigenic fungi are known to contaminate stored food products and to produce mycotoxins that pose a threat to human and animal health. Therefore, identifying toxigenic fungi and aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in foods used for human consumption is of prime importance to develop and implement appropriate management strategies in order to minimize the risk. Our preliminary data showed that in about 70% of corn AFB1 is detected at an average level of 16.5 ug/kg and at the highest level of 435 ug/kg. Overall, 15% of corn samples exceeded the internationally defined upper limit of tolerance. In peanuts, AFB1 was detected in 22% of products, the average level being 60.4 ug/kg and the highest level found being 228.4 ug/kg.
Other hepatotoxic carcinogens are synthetic chlorinated hydrocarbons and organochlorine pesticides (including DDT), which cause liver cancer in experimental animals. DDT and its derivatives are characterized by their ability to accumulate and their resistance to environmental conditions, resulting in pollution of water, soil and food by trace amounts of DDT and its metabolites.
Project goal. Explore the epidemiological, clinical, immunological, morphological features and analysis of urine metabolites in patients with HCC of unclear nature, as well as to analyse the role of chemicals (DDT, AFB1) in the etiology of primary liver cancer in Tajikistan.


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