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Environmental connections to public health >>

UC Berkeley Scientist Developing Method to Identify Chemicals That May Raise Breast Cancer Risk

Monday, February 8, 2016

Megan Schwarzman, an environmental health researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, has come up with a novel approach to screening synthetic chemicals and pollutants for their potential to cause breast cancer.  Her new method focuses on identifying chemicals that cause biological changes that scientists have associated with the development of breast cancer.

Creating a chemical testing approach that detects endocrine disruption, DNA damage and other non-disease biological changes offers a more efficient system for identifying chemicals that are most likely to lead to breast cancer, compared to traditional carcinogenicity screening tests which are expensive and can take years to complete.  Read more about Schwarzman’s research…

Schwarzman’s screening method could eventually help identify chemicals and combinations of chemicals that disturb the human body’s biological pathways, initiating a chain of events that leads to cancer.  It could help advance the research of an international group of scientists participating in the Halifax Project, which is taking an approach similar to Schwarzman’s to identifying how chemical mixtures could cause cancer.  This group is exploring whether chemicals that disrupt biological pathways known as the “hallmarks of cancer” could combine to form mixtures that are carcinogenic, even when the individual chemicals are not.  Read more about the Halifax Project…

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