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Promise and Progress - Alcohol Metabolite Could Increase Cancer Risk in Some People
Issue No. 1
Alcohol Metabolite Could Increase Cancer Risk in Some People
Date: July 16, 2014
American Journal of Pathology, January 2014
Consuming alcohol could put those who have inherited mutations of two cancer-associated genes, BRCA2 and PALB2, at greater risk of developing cancer. Kimmel Cancer Center researcher Scott Kern, M.D., the Everett and Marjorie Kovler Professor of Pancreas Cancer Research, explored genetic changes that increase how acetaldehyde, a byproduct that results as the body metabolizes alcohol, causes DNA damage.
Spurred by reports that linked acetaldehyde and a related chemical, formaldehyde, to Fanconi anemia, a rare disease characterized by mutations in BRCA2 and other genes and associated with cancer in those affected, Dr. Kern decided to take a closer look at the growth response of cells exposed to the chemical. In particular, he was interested in the affect acetaldehyde might have on people who lacked BRCA2 and PALB2 genes.
Normal BRCA2 and PALB2 genes protect cells from toxicity of acetaldehyde, but his experiments in human cell lines suggest that people with mutations of these genes are more susceptible to DNA-damaging effects of the chemical that could accelerate cancer growth.
Articles in this Issue
- Headline Makers - Overview
- A Safer Way to Treat Pediatric Brain Cancers
- For Cervical Lesions, Tissue Exam Beats Conventional Blood Tests
- Blood Cells Transformed to Repair Damaged Retina
- Personalized Chemotherapy
- 3D Scans Show whether Treatment is Working
- Alcohol Metabolite Could Increase Cancer Risk in Some People
- Acupuncture, Real or Simulated, Eases Hot Flashes
- New Leukemia Findings
- HPV Oral Cancers and Risk of Infection for Couples
- Molecular Marker of Cancer Drug Response
- Chronic Inflammation Connected to Prostate Cancer
- Fat Versus Brain Cancer
- DNA Damaging Toxins In Food
- Cancer Patients Who Quit Smoking Live Longer
- New Immune Therapy Shows Promise Against Melanoma
- Breathe Easier and Fight Cancer
- Cost-Cutting and Excellent Care Not Mutuallly Exclusive
- The Key to Safe Bone Marrow Transplants Revealed
- Gene-Based Blood Tests Detect Advanced and Early Cancers