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Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Superfund Research Program

Effects of Polychlorinated Biphenyls & Polychlorinated Biphenyl-Containing River Sediments on Carcinogen Metabolism in Normal Human Mammary Epithelial Cells

Project Leader: James G. Wetmur
Grant Number: P42ES007384
Funding Period: 1995 - 2001

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Project Summary (1995-2000)

The goals of the project are to determine whether polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixtures and extracts of sediment samples from New York City waterways (obtained from Project 5) enhance the metabolism of environmental carcinogens or increase the formation of DNA adducts with exogenous and potentially endogenous carcinogens. These materials are being tested using normal human mammary epithelial cells, for the purpose of clarifying the possible role of persistent chlorinated hydrocarbons in the etiology of female breast cancer. The hypothesis is that mixtures do enhance the metabolism of environmental carcinogens in breast tissue and that this may be a mechanism to explain observed associations between environmental exposures and female breast cancer.

The objectives of this project are to: 1) collect normal human mammary tissues from reduction mammoplasty that would be otherwise discarded, 2) prepare ductal organoids, 3) grow out normal human mammary epithelial cells (NHMECs) from the organoids, 4) study the metabolism of carcinogens in the NHMECs, and 5) study the effects of halogenated hydrocarbons on these metabolic processes. To accomplish these objectives, it has been necessary to construct and equip a tissue culture facility.

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