New Discovery Leads to Greater Cancer Risk

Jul 8, 2013

New research conducted by Texas Tech University scientists has found that low doses of both arsenic and estrogen together, can cause cancer in prostate cells. The combination of the two chemicals was almost twice as likely to create cancer in prostate cells. 

Todd Anderson, a Tech environmental toxicology professor, said it is astronomical what Tech can accomplish with a dedicated faculty.

“When you put them in the right environment, good things happen,” Anderson said. 

Assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Kamaleshwar Singh, said cigarette smoke and well water in some areas, including India, Mexico and even Lubbock county can contain arsenic. He said they wondered how the carcinogenic properties might change when paired with the presence of another carcinogenic chemical. 

“In a given environment, we have both arsenic and estrogen like chemicals,” Singh said, “so human populations are getting exposed to these two chemicals at the same time.” 

With this research, Anderson said they could come up with ways to hopefully prevent prostate cancer. 

“Understanding how these things interact, allows us to come up with therapies or other processes that might prevent it,” he said. 

Justin Treas, a doctoral student at Tech, said this could possibly reverse the process of cancer in prostate cells. 

“With this process, we can pick up on and reverse these modifications that are happening,” Treas said. 

Many plastics such as food can liners and bisphenol release small amounts of chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body.