New substances added to HHS Report on Carcinogens
On June 10, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added eight substances to its Report on Carcinogens, a science-based document that identifies chemicals and biological agents that may put people at increased risk for cancer.
Microarrays provide more consistent disease testing
Researchers found that using a standardized process and commercially manufactured microarrays, or gene chips, produced the best reproducible results. Their results were more consistent and reliable when using microarray technology to see how differences in gene expression are linked to specific diseases. This may allow for earlier detection of diseases such as cancer.
Glucocorticoids and tumor necrosis factor alpha play unique role in regulating inflammation
Researchers identified a unique cooperative role for certain hormones and proteins in the body, specifically glucocorticoids and tumor necrosis factor alpha, in regulating adaptive immunity and inflammation. Inflammation has been implicated as a contributing factor in several human cancers, including lung cancer. These results have important implications for immune responses to agents like bacterial lipopolysaccharides and numerous other environmental agents.
Two new lines of genetically altered mice developed to study cancer
NIEHS researchers produced two lines of genetically altered mice that have a significant impact on the study of cancer development. Research with these mice showed that removal of two genes, COX-1 and COX-2, lead to a significant decrease in development of colon, skin, and intestinal cancers in laboratory animals.
Researchers ID mechanism for aflatoxin to cause liver cancer
NIEHS-funded researchers identified the mechanism by which aflatoxin, a toxin produced by fungus found on corn, peanuts, and other crops in Africa and Asia, causes liver cancer.
Smoking alters youthful DNA to increase lung cancer later in life
Early smoking may alter a young person's DNA, possibly increasing the risk of lung cancer years later, even after the smoker quits, researchers found.
Low-calorie diet slows bladder cancer
Low-calorie diets can slow the development of bladder cancer in mice by reducing the level of a key hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1, NIEHS research showed. This research established the role of caloric restriction in the prevention of certain cancers, and identified insulin-like growth factor 1 as a key risk factor in the development and progression of cancer.
Gene cloned that suppresses prostate cancer
NIEHS researchers identified and cloned a gene that suppresses the spread of prostate cancer.
Phenolphthalein, a common laxative, linked to ovarian and other cancers
Experiments conducted by NIEHS researchers show that phenolphthalein, a widely used laxative, causes ovarian and other cancers in laboratory rats and mice.
Asbestos exposure linked to lung tumors, mesotheliomas
Researchers linked asbestos exposure to an increased incidence of lung tumors and mesotheliomas, and found that asbestos-exposed workers who smoke cigarettes have a risk of lung cancer more than ten times as great as asbestos-exposed individuals who do not smoke.