Tuesday September 17, 2019

Alcohol dependency leads to cancer in myriad forms

0
//

London:High alcohol consumption will lead to varied forms of cancers among heavy drinkers, especially, in low-income countries like India, researchers have warned.

Picture credit: wearechange.org
Picture credit: wearechange.org

The new study of alcohol use in countries of all-income levels, including low-income nations like India and Zimbabwe, shows that alcohol dependence increases the risk of alcohol-related cancers and injury with no reduction in risk of mortality or in cardiovascular diseases overall.

The data came from 12 countries participating in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, a prospective cohort study of individuals aged 35-70 years.

The high-income countries were Sweden and Canada; upper-middle-income countries were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Poland, South Africa and Turkey; lower-middle-income countries were China and Colombia; and were India and Zimbabwe.

The research, published in The Lancet journal, included 114,970 adults, of whom 28,813 people (25 per cent) were from low-income countries.

Current drinking was associated with a 51 per cent increased risk of alcohol-related cancers of mouth, oesophagus, stomach, colorectum, liver, breast, ovary, and head and neck. A 29 per cent increased risk of injury in current drinkers has been witnessed.

Although current drinking was associated with a 24 per cent reduced risk of heart attack, there was no reduction in risk of mortality or stroke.

High alcohol intake and heavy episodic drinking were both associated with significant increases in risk of overall mortality.

For higher-income countries, current drinking was associated with a 16 per cent reduced risk of combined disease outcome, while for lower-income countries, current drinking was associated with a 38 per cent increased risk.

“The world needs better health strategies to reduce harmful alcohol use especially in low-income countries like India,” the authors noted.

“Because alcohol consumption is increasing in many countries, especially in low-income countries, the importance of alcohol as a risk factor for disease might be underestimated. Therefore, global strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol are essential,” explained Dr Salim Yusuf, president of the World Heart Federation.

According to a leading author, Dr Andrew Smyth from the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Canada, “the data support the call to increase global awareness of the importance of harmful use of alcohol and the need to further identify and target the modifiable determinants of harmful alcohol use”.

(IANS)

Next Story

Tiny Bubbles In Body Better Than Chemotherapy, Research Suggests

Researchers have found that tiny bubbles in our body might potentially be used to treat cancer and could fight the disease better than chemotherapy

0
Cancer, Treatment, Chemotherapy, Tiny Bubbles, Research
"What we've done is improve a therapeutic approach to delivering enzyme-producing genes that can convert certain drugs into toxic agents and target tumours." Pixabay

Researchers have found that tiny bubbles in our body might potentially be used to treat cancer and could fight the disease better than chemotherapy.

Healthy cells in our body release nano-sized bubbles that transfer genetic material such as DNA and RNA to other cells. It’s your DNA that stores the important information necessary for RNA to produce proteins and make sure they act accordingly.

According to the researchers, these bubbly extracellular vesicles (EV) could become mini treatment transporters, carrying a combination of therapeutic drugs and genes that target cancer cells and kill them.

The study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, focused on breast cancer cells in mice.

“What we’ve done is improve a therapeutic approach to delivering enzyme-producing genes that can convert certain drugs into toxic agents and target tumours,” said the study’s lead author Masamitsu Kanada, Assistant Professor at the Michigan State University.

Cancer, Chemotherapy, Tiny Bubbles, Research, Treatment
A Caucasian female nurse smiles as she administers chemotherapy through a catheter to an African American male patient in a clinical setting. Wikimedia Commons

These drugs or prodrugs start out as inactive compounds. But once they metabolize in the body, they are immediately activated and can get to work on fighting everything from cancer to headaches.

Aspirin is an example of a common prodrug.

In this case, researchers used EVs, to deliver the enzyme-producing genes that could activate a prodrug combination therapy of ganciclovir and CB1954 in breast cancer cells.

Minicircle DNA and regular plasmid – two different gene vectors that act as additional delivery mechanisms for DNA – were loaded into the vesicles to see which was better at helping transport treatment.

This is known as a gene-directed enzyme, prodrug therapy.

ALSO READ: Here’s How Poverty Linked with the Ageing Process

They found that the minicircle DNA was 14 times more effective at delivery and even more successful at killing cancerous tumours.

“Conventional chemotherapy isn’t able to differentiate between tumours and normal tissue, so it attacks it all,” Kanada said.

With EVs, treatment can be targeted and because of their compatibility with the human body, this type of delivery could minimize the risk of unwanted immune responses that can come with other gene therapies.

“If EVs prove to be effective in humans, it would be an ideal platform for gene delivery and it could be used in humans sooner than we expect,” Kanada added. (IANS)