Rethinking Environmental Carcinogenesis


The 2010 report of the President’s Cancer Panel concluded that the burden of cancer from chemical exposures is substantial, while the programs for testing and regulation of carcinogens remain inadequate. New research on the role of early life exposures and the ability of chemicals to act via multiple biological pathways, including immunosuppression, inflammation, and endocrine disruption as well as mutagenesis, further supports the potential for chemicals and chemical mixtures to influence disease. Epidemiologic observations, such as higher leukemia incidence in children living near roadways and industrial sources of air pollution, and new in vitro technologies that decode carcinogenesis at the molecular level, illustrate the diverse evidence that primary prevention of some cancers may be achieved by reducing harmful chemical exposures. The path forward requires cross-disciplinary approaches, increased environmental research investment, system-wide collaboration to develop safer economic alternatives, and community engagement to support evidence-informed action. Engagement by cancer researchers to integrate environmental risk factors into prevention initiatives holds tremendous promise for reducing the rates of disease.See all articles in this CEBP Focus section, “Environmental Carcinogenesis: Pathways to Prevention.”

Authors: Margaret Kripke, Julia Green Brody, Ernest Hawk, Amanda B Hernandez, Polly J Hoppin, Molly M Jacobs, Ruthann A Rudel, Timothy R Rebbeck
; Full Source: Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology 2020 Oct;29(10):1870-1875. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0541.