Tuesday February 20, 2018

Combination of 50 everyday-use chemicals could be carcinogenic, says research

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image courtesy: www.upi.com
image courtesy: www.upi.com

London: A cocktail of 50 chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, including some found in mobile phones, detergents and pesticides used on fruits and vegetables, may trigger cancer, says a research.

“This research backs up the idea that chemicals not considered harmful by themselves may be combining and accumulating in our bodies to trigger cancer and might lie behind the global cancer epidemic we are witnessing,” said Hemad Yasaei from Brunel University London.

A global task force of 174 scientists from leading research centres across 28 countries studied the link between mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals and the development of cancer.

The study selected 85 chemicals not considered carcinogenic to humans and found 50 supported key cancer-related mechanisms at exposures found in the environment.

“A review on this scale, looking at environmental chemicals from the perspective of all the major hallmarks of cancer, is unprecedented,” professor Andrew Ward from University of Bath in Britain said.

Current research estimates that chemicals could be responsible for as many as one in five cancers.

With the human population routinely exposed to thousands of chemicals, the effects need to be better understood to reduce the incidence of cancer globally.

“Every day we are exposed to an environmental ‘chemical soup’, so we need testing that evaluates the effects of our ongoing exposure to these chemical mixtures,” lead study author William Goodson, senior scientist at the California Pacific Medical Centre in San Francisco said.

The research was published in the journal Carcinogenesis. (IANS)

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Girls may inherit ovarian cancer gene from fathers

The researchers collected information about pairs of granddaughters and grandmothers and sequenced portions of the X-chromosome from 186 women affected by cancer

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A mutation on the X-chromosome may also advance ovarian cancer's age of onset by more than six years. Wikimedia Commons
A mutation on the X-chromosome may also advance ovarian cancer's age of onset by more than six years. Wikimedia Commons

Scientists have found a gene responsible for ovarian cancer that can be passed down from fathers to their daughters.

The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls.

A mutation on the X-chromosome may also advance ovarian cancer’s age of onset by more than six years.

“Our study may explain why we find families with multiple affected daughters: because a dad’s chromosomes determine the sex of his children, all of his daughters have to carry the same X-chromosome genes,” said Kevin H.

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Eng, Assistant Professor at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Buffalo, the US.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, stated that the genetic mutation inherited from the paternal grandmothers were also associated with higher rates of prostate cancer in fathers and sons as well.

The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls. Wikimedia Commons
The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls. Wikimedia Commons

The researchers collected information about pairs of granddaughters and grandmothers and sequenced portions of the X-chromosome from 186 women affected by cancer.

The results proposed that a gene on the X-chromosome may contribute to a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, independently of other known susceptibility genes, such as the BRCA genes.

This observation suggests that there may be many cases of seemingly sporadic ovarian cancer that are actually inherited, and may lead to improved cancer screening and better genetic risk assessment.

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However, future studies will be needed to confirm the identity and function of this gene.

“What we have to do next is make sure we have the right gene by sequencing more families. This finding has sparked a lot of discussion within our group about how to find these X-linked families,” Eng said.

“It’s an all-or-none kind of pattern: A family with three daughters who all have ovarian cancer is more likely to be driven by inherited X mutations than by BRCA mutations,” Eng noted. (IANS)

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