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Exposure to BPA in developing prostate increases risk of later cancer
Date:6/17/2013

Early exposure to BPA (bisphenol A) an additive commonly found in plastic water bottles and soup can liners causes an increased cancer risk in an animal model of human prostate cancer, according to University of Illinois at Chicago researcher Gail Prins. Prins presented her findings at the ENDO 2013 meeting in San Francisco June 17.

"This is the first direct evidence that exposure to BPA during development, at the levels we see in our day-to-day environment, increases the risk for prostate cancer in human prostate tissue," said Prins, professor of physiology and director of the andrology laboratory in urology at the UIC College of Medicine.

The increased risk can be traced to prostate stem and progenitor cells which become "sensitized" to estrogen early in development through exposure to BPA -- which mimics estrogen in the body. Environmental exposure to compounds like BPA that mimic hormones has become common, said Prins. Prostate stem cells, which are very long-lived, pass on the increased estrogen sensitivity to the prostate tissues they produce throughout life. Because prostate cancer is fueled in part by naturally rising estrogen levels in aging men, the prostate tissue's increased sensitivity to estrogen makes the development of cancer much more likely, according to Prins.

"Studies of expectant mothers in the U.S. showed that more than 95 percent of them had BPA in their urine, which means they recently ingested these compounds, " says Prins, whose work led to banning the sale of baby bottles and cups containing BPA in Chicago in 2009. Previous studies by Prins and colleagues using rats showed that exposure to elevated estrogen or BPA during embryonic development increased the rate of prostate cancer later in life. To determine if there was a link in humans, Prins developed a new animal model using human prostate stem cells implanted into mouse "hosts."

Prins took human prostate stem cells from deceased young adult male organ donor
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Contact: Sharon Parmet
sparmet@uic.edu
312-413-2695
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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