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Chemical compounds present in diet increase risk of colon cancer

This release is also available in Spanish

A team of researchers at the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona, The Catalan Institute of Oncology and the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) have published a study indicating that exposure to organochlorine compounds, which we ingest in our diets, increases the risk of suffering colorectal cancer. The authors have identified two types of compounds, present in the blood of cancer patients, in double the quantity of the non-affected population undergoing the study. In addition, the researchers studied the mechanism that triggers the disease. They have been able to deduce that these compounds cause genetic alterations in genes such as the K-Ras and the p53, which are involved in other cancers such as breast cancer or cancer of the pancreas.

Colorectal cancer is the third most frequent type of cancer in humans and the second deadliest in industrialised countries. Its causes, however, are not fully understood, but diet is believed to play an important role. It is thought that vegetables, fruit and fibre-rich foods protect against it; fats, red meat, as well as excessive consumption of calories, and obesity increase the risk of developing it.

To better understand the causes, a team of researchers led by Victor Moreno, researcher at the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona and The Catalan Institute of Oncology, in collaboration with the CSIC's Environmental Chemistry Group, have published the first work that establishes an association between organochlorine compounds and colorectal cancer. The article has been published in the specialised journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.

The researchers measured the concentration of organochlorines in the blood serum of a group of patients at the Bellvitge Hospital. One hundred and thirty-two of the patients had been diagnosed with the disease and 76 others were admi
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Contact: Octavi Lpez Coronado
octavi.lopez@uab.es
34-93-581-3301
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
1-Apr-2005


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