Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Study Aims To Reduce Risk Of Childhood Leukaemia

26.01.2009
University of Leicester study into consuming caffeine during pregnancy and effect on unborn baby

A study led by Dr Marcus Cooke at the University of Leicester and funded by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) UK is looking at whether consuming caffeine during pregnancy might affect the unborn baby's risk of developing leukaemia in childhood.

Dr Cooke sees the study as a unique opportunity to determine the sources of chromosomal alterations during pregnancy, with the ultimate aim of reducing the risk of childhood leukaemias.

Leukaemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and white blood cells. It can affect people of all ages and around 7,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the UK. While it is the most common type of childhood cancer, accounting for 35 per cent of cases, it is still rare. Only 1 in 10 of leukaemia patients are children, accounting for 500 child diagnoses a year in the UK.

"We want to find out whether consuming caffeine could lead to the sort of DNA changes in the baby that are linked to risk of leukaemia," said Dr Cooke. "This is an important area of research because it is vital that mothers are given the best advice possible."

While childhood leukaemia could be initiated by DNA alterations in the unborn child, it is thought that leukaemia would only develop if there was another secondary trigger. There is currently no single proven cause of childhood leukaemia, though exposure to radiation and/or a rare response to a common infection are thought likely to play a part.

Although there are currently no convincing links between caffeine and cancer risks, previous studies have found a link between alterations to DNA, which are sometimes found in newborn babies, to an increased risk of leukaemia. Caffeine has been shown to cause these kinds of changes to DNA.

Scientists know caffeine can pass back and forth across the placenta, meaning the unborn baby will come in contact with caffeine consumed by the mother. Dr Cooke and his team want to find out what impact this can have on the unborn baby.

Their research will involve working with a group of 1,340 pregnant women. After birth, a blood sample is routinely taken from each newborn baby's heel. It is these samples that will then be tested for DNA changes. By comparing any DNA changes to the levels of caffeine the mother consumed, the team will try to find out if the two are linked.

If a link is discovered, further research would be needed to see whether this meant babies with these DNA changes would be more likely to develop leukaemia, and to examine evidence of exposure to other DNA damaging agents. The study will also collect other lifestyle and dietary data to see if there are other factors which might increase the risk.

Dr. Marcus S. Cooke, of the Leicester Department of Cancer Studies, and the Department of Genetics, will be working with Drs. Roger Godschalk and Sahar Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn-Khosrovani from the Department of Health Risk Analysis and Toxicology, Maastricht University.

This study is not the first research into the link between cancer risk and caffeine. In the past, research has suggested a possible link with cancers of the pancreas and kidney, but after examining all the research, the WCRF/AICR Expert Report found that a substantial effect on risk was unlikely.

The Food Standards Agency advises pregnant women not to consume more than 200mg of caffeine a day - which is equivalent to two cups of coffee - and WCRF UK supports this advice. Evidence suggests drinking a lot of caffeine during pregnancy could be a factor in low birth weight, which has been linked to future risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leicester.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>