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Study shows "no significant association" between osteosarcoma and fluoride

Alexandria, Va—A new study in the Journal of Dental Research finds that there is no significant association between bone fluoride levels and osteosarcoma, a rare, primary malignant bone tumor that is more prevalent in males.

“An Assessment of Bone Fluoride and Osteosarcoma” appears July 28 online and was designed to determine if bone fluoride levels were higher in individuals with osteosarcoma.

The case-control study was led by Dr. Chester Douglass of the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine and identified patients from the orthopedic departments of nine U.S. hospitals from 1993-2000. The researchers studied samples from incident cases of primary osteosarcoma and a control group of patients with newly-diagnosed malignant bone tumors. They also analyzed specimens of tumor-adjacent bone and iliac crest bone for fluoride content. They found that there was no significant difference in bone fluoride levels between cases and controls.

“The controversy over whether there is an association between fluoride and risk for osteosarcoma has existed since an inconclusive animal study 20 years ago,” said Dr. Helen Whelton, vice president, International Association for Dental Research. “Numerous human descriptive and case-control studies have attempted to address the controversy, but this study of using actual bone fluoride concentrations as a direct indicator of fluoride exposure represents our best science to date and shows no association between fluoride in bone and osteosarcoma risk.”

The study design was approved by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, with funding provided by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and NCI. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards of the respective hospitals, Harvard Medical School and the Medical College of Georgia.

For a link to the complete article, visit http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/early/recent.