Alcohol long identified as cancer risk "It’s very important to have a model of how to prevent cancer," and this study provides that model, Gu said. "Epidemiologists have recognized alcohol as a risk factor for cancer for 100 years," but this study examines how that happens.
The mouse study builds on an earlier study with chicks that showed alcohol consumption increased the expression of a protein known as VEGF. VEGF fuels tumor growth by spurring the development of blood vessels in cancer cells that might otherwise die.
Normally, the immune system can kill off small tumors. However, when they grow large enough the body can no longer fight off the tumor cells. This is why angiogenesis is so important, Gu said.
VEGF, a protein that stimulates formation of blood vessels, helps organ tissues grow. Unfortunately, it also aids tumors grow by helping them develop a system of blood vessels. Without these blood vessels, cancer cells that form small tumors would quickly die.
The vast majority of tumors result from over expressed VEGF, Gu explained. "Every day, we produce a lot of cancer cells, but they don’t become bigger," he said. But if the cell establishes blood vessels, the tumor grows and strengthens, a process known as angiogenesis.
Cells dislike alcohol
When alcohol is consumed, it enters the cells, which attempt to eliminate it. Because it is difficult to break it down, the cells must increase metabolic activity to do that, Tan explained. But that requires oxygen, and the cells may deplete themselves of oxygen in an attempt to break down the alcohol.
This oxygen-depletion, known as hypoxia, indirectly induces production of VEGF. VEGF, in turn, stimulates the growth of new blood vessels to meet the increased oxygen demand. It is still too early to define safe levels of alcohol consumption in humans, Tan said, but she advises caution when drinking, particularly for individuals who drink every day.
"If you have risk for any kind of cancer, don’t drink at all," Gu advised. For those not at risk, the occasional social drink is fine, but "I don’t think 2-4 drinks per day is okay," Gu ventured. The public needs to know of these results as a tool of cancer prevention. Gu was once approached by a man on chemotherapy who asked him if it was okay to drink. The answer was a firm "no."
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy