Consuming meats cooked at high temperatures may lead to an increased risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC) through intake of carcinogenic compounds, according to a new study published in Cancer.1

Additionally, individuals with specific genetic mutations may be more susceptible to the compounds created with certain cooking techniques.

Xifeng Wu, MD, PhD, and fellow researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, surveyed the eating patterns and genetic information in 649 patients who were newly diagnosed with RCC, as well as 699 healthy subjects who were recruited from the community.

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They found that those patients with RCC consumed more red and white meat compared to the healthy individuals.

There was also a 54% increased risk of RCC associated with pyridine (PhIP) intake, as well as a 2-fold increase with quinoxaline (MelQx) intake, both of which are carcinogens formed in meat when cooked at high temperatures.

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“We found elevated RCC risk associated with both meat intake and meat-cooking mutagens, suggesting independent effect of meat-cooking mutagens on RCC risk,” Dr. Wu said. They concluded that cooking method in meat consumption is an important contributing factor for RCC risk.


  1. Increased meat consumption, especially when cooked at high temperatures, linked to elevated kidney cancer risk [news release]. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; November 9, 2015. Accessed November 9, 2015.