emfizz.com January 19, 2018

Alcohol leads to tumours by harming DNA

05 January 2018, 02:32 | Todd Saunders

Alcohol leads to tumours by harming DNA

Beware Alcohol Consumption May Damage Stem Cells And Increase Cancer Risk Study

According to Patel, discovering that behavior is crucial because stem cell damage can lead to cancer.

Warning others about the dangers of downing drinks has no effect on the likelihood they will do it, the research adds.

The study also found some people carry genetic mutations in two genes - aldh2 and Fancd2 - which make drinking far more risky.

Study author Professor Charles Abraham from the University of Exeter, said: 'This demonstrates how careful we need to be in selecting the right message in campaigns, and evaluating them before wider dissemination, as poorly designed campaigns, however well-intentioned, can backfire'.

An estimated 540 million people worldwide are thought to have a polymorphism in ALDH2 which means they are unable to successfully convert acetaldehyde into acetate - and are subsequently at greater risk of oesophageal cancer.

In the United Kingdom, booze is linked to 12,800 cases of cancer - four per cent of total cancer cases.

Researchers may have cracked one of the ways in which alcohol can cause cancer.

Even light drinking can slightly raise a woman's risk of breast cancer, the NHS advises.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology referenced more than 150 papers in its November meta-analysis of the alcohol-cancer evidence.

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New research on genetically modified mice suggests how this happens - with a product of the breakdown of alcohol, acetaldehyde, causing damage to DNA in living cells.

They found the effects of acetaldehyde on the double-stranded breaks in the DNA inside these cells. But the mechanism by which it works was unclear.

Using mice that lack both protection mechanisms, we show conclusively that alcohol exposure causes damage to the chromosomes in the blood cells resulting in rearrangements of their chromosomes - the structures in the nucleus of the cells where DNA is packaged. Even minimal drinking might cause some level of DNA damage.

"They're a good way of monitoring changes and damage to DNA in a way that's more informative than looking at cells in a dish", said professor Ketan Patel on the link between stem cells and cancer.

These people, who are known to have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer, may also be more susceptible to blood cancers, if the new results hold true in humans: ALDH2 knockout mice suffered four times as much DNA damage as their wildtype counterparts after alcohol consumption, according to the study.

Enzymes called aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) form the first line of defense against alcohol-related damage. To prove that the DNA within individual stem cells carried damaged genetic information, Juan with Gerry Crossan, also from the LMB's PNAC Division, grafted single blood stem cells into recipient mice.

The study has basically built previous work that had pinpointed a break-down product of alcohol, called acetaldehyde, as a toxin that can damage the DNA within cells.

'But it's important to remember alcohol clearance and DNA fix systems are not ideal and alcohol can still cause cancer in different ways - even in people whose defence mechanisms are intact'.

"Alcohol contributes to over 12,000 cancer cases in the UK each year", says Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK's expert on cancer prevention.

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