particular, the study showed that the affected class of prostate cancer
cell, characterized by mutated receptors for androgens, the male
hormone, can proliferate in response to BPA.
“The results may have implications for men who develop BPA-susceptible
mutations in their androgen receptor genes during the course of
prostate cancer treatment, although these concepts will need to be
verified in animal systems,?according to Karen Knudsen, Ph.D., an
assistant professor in the University of Cincinnati’s Department of
Cell Biology and Center for Environmental Genetics. Scientists estimate
that anywhere from eight to 25 percent of all prostate cancer patients
may fall into this category.
In the United States alone this year, almost 220,000 men will be
diagnosed with prostate cancer. The disease is the second most common
type of cancer found in American men, and approximately 29,000 men will
die from prostate cancer this year.
Many cases of prostate cancer depend on androgens like testosterone for
tumor growth and cancer cell proliferation, said Dr. Knudsen, the
study’s senior author. A common treatment for prostate cancer includes
limiting testosterone synthesis. Patients with mutated androgen
receptors may not respond to this therapy and according to this new
study, exposure to BPA among these patients could potentially
at higher risk for increased cancer cell growth.
“The results we see in cell culture in response to BPA are ready to be
moved to appropriate animal models next,?said Dr. Knudsen. The effect
of the environmental non-steroidal BPA on human prostate cancer tumor
implants in laboratory animal models will shed additional light on
whether the synthetic pseudo-estrogen encourages tumor growth in whole
“We’ll know more about the ‘hormone sensitizing?ability of BPA in
prostate cancer cells from studies on animals. It is also important to
note that our study demonstrates that the actual dose of BPA exposure
may change the biological response,?Dr. Knudsen said.
The safety of BPA has been under intense debate for several years, with
some arguing that exposure to the chemical among humans is safe, with
others contending that it may promote the growth of human tumor cells
and alter the growth and development of animals.
Source:American Association for Cancer Research
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