Consequences of Exposure to Carcinogens Beginning During Developmental Life

Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center, European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences, Bologna, Italy.
Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology (Impact Factor: 2.38). 03/2008; 102(2):118-24. DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-7843.2007.00200.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The increased incidence of cancer over the last 50-60 years may be largely attributed to two factors: the ageing of the population and the diffusion of agents and situations presenting carcinogenic risks. Today, we have entered into a new era in which populations are ever-increasingly exposed to diffuse carcinogenic risks, present not only in the occupational, but also in the general environment. We must now also consider an additional factor in the carcinogenic process, that is, the age in which exposure to carcinogenic risks begins. Apart from the paradigmatic cases of diethylstilboestrol and ionizing radiation, the available epidemiological data concerning the adult consequences of developmental exposure to carcinogens is very limited. However, important data have been provided by long-term experimental carcinogenicity bioassays conducted using rodents. This paper reports a selection of studies conducted in the laboratories of the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center of the European Ramazzini Foundation in which exposure to the chemical agents vinyl acetate monomer, ethyl alcohol and aspartame was started during developmental life and continued into adulthood. The results of these studies provide supporting evidence that lifespan exposure to carcinogenic agents beginning during developmental life produces an overall increase in the carcinogenic effects observed. Moreover, when comparing prenatal and postnatal exposure, the data demonstrate that the development of cancers may appear earlier in life.

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Available from: Davide Degli Esposti, Sep 27, 2015
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    • "However, the safety of their long-term ingestion, especially when starting from early development throughout life, has been questioned by a considerable number of studies [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]. Due to this, we aimed to review the available information about the impact of NNS exposure during the perigestational period on the later in life offspring's risk of developing diseases (in particular metabolic diseases), and to discuss the mechanisms involved in the potential fetal programming effects of NNS. "
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    ABSTRACT: The nutritional environment during embryonic, fetal and neonatal development plays a crucial role in the offspring's risk of developing diseases later in life. Although non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) provide sweet taste without contributing to energy intake, animal studies showed that long-term consumption of NSS, particularly aspartame, starting during the perigestational period may predispose the offspring to develop obesity and metabolic syndrome later in life. In this paper, we review the impact of NNS exposure during the perigestational period on the long-term disease risk of the offspring, with a particular focus on metabolic diseases. Some mechanisms underlying NNS adverse metabolic effects have been proposed, such as an increase in intestinal glucose absorption, alterations in intestinal microbiota, induction of oxidative stress and a dysregulation of appetite and reward responses. The data reviewed herein suggest that NNS consumption by pregnant and lactating women should be looked with particular caution and requires further research.
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    • "Responses to some of these criticisms have already been provided in a number of our earlier works [Soffritti et al., 2007, 2008, 2010]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aspartame (APM) is an artificial sweetener used since the 1980s, now present in >6,000 products, including over 500 pharmaceuticals. Since its discovery in 1965, and its first approval by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in 1981, the safety of APM, and in particular its carcinogenicity potential, has been controversial. The present commentary reviews the adequacy of the design and conduct of carcinogenicity bioassays on rodents submitted by G.D. Searle, in the 1970s, to the FDA for market approval. We also review how experimental and epidemiological data on the carcinogenic risks of APM, that became available in 2005 motivated the European Commission (EC) to call the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) for urgent re-examination of the available scientific documentation (including the Searle studies). The EC has further requested that, if the results of the evaluation should suggest carcinogenicity, major changes must be made to the current APM specific regulations. Taken together, the studies performed by G.D. Searle in the 1970s and other chronic bioassays do not provide adequate scientific support for APM safety. In contrast, recent results of life-span carcinogenicity bioassays on rats and mice published in peer-reviewed journals, and a prospective epidemiological study, provide consistent evidence of APM's carcinogenic potential. On the basis of the evidence of the potential carcinogenic effects of APM herein reported, a re-evaluation of the current position of international regulatory agencies must be considered an urgent matter of public health. Am. J. Ind. Med. 9999;1-17, 2014 © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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