FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA (July 10, 2015) – Valerie Odero-Marah, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biology at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) and assistant director of research in CAU’s Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development (CCRTD), served since 2013 on a global scientific task force that tackled linkages between mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals and the development of cancer. A special June 23rd issue of Carcinogenesis noted the research.
Amidst a global cancer epidemic, a task force of 174 scientists from prominent institutions in 28 countries, including Odero-Marah, was assembled by a non-governmental organization (NGO) called “Getting to Know Cancer.” From the thousands of chemicals to which the population is now routinely exposed, the scientists selected 85 prototypic chemicals that were not considered to be carcinogenic to humans, and they reviewed their effects against a long list of mechanisms that are important for cancer development.
This global effort was the first time that this large-scale problem has ever been considered by interdisciplinary teams that could fully interpret the full spectrum of cancer biology and incorporate what is now known about low dose chemical effects. In light of this evidence, the task force is calling for an increased emphasis and support for research on low dose exposures to mixtures of environmental chemicals.
Working in teams that focused on various hallmarks of cancer, the group found that 50 of those chemicals support key cancer-related mechanisms at environmentally relevant levels of exposure. This supports the idea that chemicals may be capable of acting in concert with one another to cause cancer, even though low level exposures to these chemicals individually might not be carcinogenic.
Odero-Marah said, “My involvement in the project focused on the impact of low dose carcinogens and environmental disrupters on tissue invasion and metastasis, researching prostate and breast cancer metastasis to bone.” Prostate cancer research is at the core of the CCRTD.
Current estimates suggest that as many as one in five cancers may be the result of chemical exposures in the environment that are not related to personal lifestyle choices. So the effect of exposures to mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals needs to be better understood to reduce the incidence of cancer.
For information on the CCRTD, visit www.cau.edu/ccrtd.
###Category: Faculty, Research, Technology
Keywords: ccience, CAU, cancer research, Valerie Odero-Marah