BackgroundMany epidemiological studies and reviews have been performed to identify the causes of bladder cancer. The aim of this review is to investigate the links between various environmental risk factors and cancer of the bladder.MethodsA systematic literature search was performed using PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, Scholar Google and Russian Google databases to identify reviews and epidemiological studies on bladder cancer risk factors associated with the environment published between 1998 and 2010. Only literature discussing human studies was considered.ResultsSmoking, mainly cigarette smoking, is a well known risk factor for various diseases, including bladder cancer. Another factor strongly associated with bladder cancer is exposure to arsenic in drinking water at concentrations higher than 300 µg/l. The most notable risk factor for development of bladder cancer is occupational exposure to aromatic amines (2-naphthylamine, 4-aminobiphenyl and benzidine) and 4,4'-methylenebis(2-chloroaniline), which can be found in the products of the chemical, dye and rubber industries as well as in hair dyes, paints, fungicides, cigarette smoke, plastics, metals and motor vehicle exhaust. There are also data suggesting an effect from of other types of smoking besides cigarettes (cigar, pipe, Egyptian waterpipe, smokeless tobacco and environmental tobacco smoking), and other sources of arsenic exposure such as air, food, occupational hazards, and tobacco. Other studies show that hairdressers and barbers with occupational exposure to hair dyes experience enhanced risk of bladder cancer. For example, a study related to personal use of hair dyes demonstrates an elevated bladder cancer risk for people who used permanent hair dyes at least once a month, for one year or longer.ConclusionSmoking, in particular from cigarettes, exposure to arsenic in drinking water, and occupational exposure to aromatic amines and 4,4'-methylenebis(2-chloroaniline) are well known risk factors for various diseases including bladder cancer. Although the number of chemicals related to occupational exposure is still growing, it is worth noting that it may take several years or decades between exposure and the subsequent cancer.
BackgroundCutaneous melanoma is one of the most serious skin cancers. It is caused by neural crest-derived melanocytes - pigmented cells normally present in the epidermis and, sometimes, in the dermis.MethodsWe performed a review of current knowledge on the risk factors of cutaneous melanoma. Relevant studies were identified using the PubMed, Science Direct, Medline, Scopus, Scholar Google and ISI Web of Knowledge databases.ResultsMelanoma incurs a considerable public health burden owing to the worldwide dramatic rise in incidence since the mid-1960s. Ultraviolet radiation exposure is the predominant environmental risk factor. The role of geographical (latitude) and individual factors such as skin type, life style, vitamin D levels and antioxidant protection, sunburn, and exposure to other environmental factors possibly contributing to melanoma risk (such as cosmetics including sunscreen, photosensitising drugs, and exogenous hormones) are reviewed in this article. Recently, both rare high risk susceptibility genes and common polymorphic genes contributing to melanoma risk have been identified.ConclusionsCutaneous melanoma is a complex cancer with heterogeneous aetiology that continues to increase in incidence. Introduction of new biomarkers may help to elucidate the mechanism of pathogenesis and individual susceptibility to the disease, and make both prevention and treatment more effective.
The development of alternative methods to animal experimentation has progressed rapidly over the last 20 years. Today, in vitro and in silico methods have an important role in the hazard identification and assessment of toxicology profile of compounds. Advanced alternative methods and their combinations are also used for safety assessment of final products. Several alternative methods, which were scientifically validated and accepted by competent regulatory bodies, can be used for regulatory toxicology purposes, thus reducing or fully replacing living animals in toxicology experimentation. The acceptance of the alternative methods as valuable tools of modern toxicology has been recognized by regulators, including OECD, FDA and EPA.This paper provides a brief overview of the topic “alternative methods in toxicology” and focuses on pre-validated and validated alternative methods and their position in the modern toxicology.
Multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) in dimethylformamide (DMF) or aqueous sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) solution, colloidal gold nanoparticles (GNP) in phosphate buffer solution (PBS), and a GNP-MWNT mixture in aqueous SDS solution have been investigated for chemical modification of a screen-printed carbon electrode used as the signal transducer of a dsDNA-based biosensor. Differential pulse voltammetry of the DNA redox marker Co[(phen)3]3+ and the guanine moiety anodic oxidation and cyclic voltammetry with K3[Fe(CN)6] as indicator revealed substantial enhancement of the response of the biosensor, particularly when MWNT in SDS solution was used. The biosensor was used in testing of berberine, an isoquinoline plant alkaloid with significant antimicrobial and anticancer activity. Berberine had a very strong, concentration-dependent, effect on the structural stability of DNA from the human cancer cells (U937 cells) whereas non-cancer cells were changed only when berberine concentrations were relatively high 75 and 50 microg mL(-1).
Our primary aim was to study berberine, a potential anti-cancer drug, for its cytotoxic and antiproliferative activity in-vitro using Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells. Cytotoxicity was measured by the growth inhibition assay. We investigated the effect of berberine on the biosynthesis of macro-molecules (DNA, RNA, proteins), cell cycle effects and induction of dsDNA damage and apoptosis in berberine-treated EAC cells. Our results showed that berberine acts cytotoxically on EAC cells. The cytotoxicity was directly concentration and time dependent. The highest cytotoxic concentrations (100 and 50 microg mL(-1)) induced intercalation of berberine with DNA, formation of dsDNA breaks, inhibition of DNA synthesis and death of EAC cells. A concentration of 10 mug mL(-1) induced clear apoptotic cell death, which was followed by inhibition of protein synthesis.
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