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."
Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering