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Assessing the carcinogenic potential of low-dose exposures to chemical mixtures in the environment: the challenge ahead Public Deposited

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  • Lifestyle factors are responsible for a considerable portion of cancer incidence worldwide, but credible estimates from the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggest that the fraction of cancers attributable to toxic environmental exposures is between 7% and 19%. To explore the hypothesis that low-dose exposures to mixtures of chemicals in the environment may be combining to contribute to environmental carcinogenesis, we reviewed 11 hallmark phenotypes of cancer, multiple priority target sites for disruption in each area and prototypical chemical disruptors for all targets, this included dose-response characterizations, evidence of low-dose effects and cross-hallmark effects for all targets and chemicals. In total, 85 examples of chemicals were reviewed for actions on key pathways/ mechanisms related to carcinogenesis. Only 15% (13/85) were found to have evidence of a dose-response threshold, whereas 59% (50/85) exerted low-dose effects. No dose-response information was found for the remaining 26% (22/85). Our analysis suggests that the cumulative effects of individual (non-carcinogenic) chemicals acting on different pathways, and a variety of related systems, organs, tissues and cells could plausibly conspire to produce carcinogenic synergies. Additional basic research on carcinogenesis and research focused on low-dose effects of chemical mixtures needs to be rigorously pursued before the merits of this hypothesis can be further advanced. However, the structure of the World Health Organization International Programme on Chemical Safety ‘Mode of Action’ framework should be revisited as it has inherent weaknesses that are not fully aligned with our current understanding of cancer biology.
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  • Goodson, W. H., Lowe, L., Carpenter, D. O., Gilbertson, M., Ali, A. M., de Cerain Salsamendi, A. L., ... & Hu, Z. (2015). Assessing the carcinogenic potential of low-dose exposures to chemical mixtures in the environment: the challenge ahead. Carcinogenesis, 36(Suppl 1), S254-S296. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgv039
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  • We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Institute of Health-National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) conference grant travel support (R13ES023276); Glenn Rice, Office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH, USA also deserves thanks for his thoughtful feedback and inputs on the manuscript; William H.Goodson III was supported by the California Breast Cancer Research Program, Clarence Heller Foundation and California Pacific Medical Center Foundation; Abdul M.Ali would like to acknowledge the financial support of the University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Malaysia; Ahmed Lasfar was supported by an award from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Ann-Karin Olsen and Gunnar Brunborg were supported by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) through its Centres of Excellence funding scheme (223268/F50), Amancio Carnero’s lab was supported by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity, ISCIII (Fis: PI12/00137, RTICC: RD12/0036/0028) co-funded by FEDER from Regional Development European Funds (European Union), Consejeria de Ciencia e Innovacion (CTS-1848) and Consejeria de Salud of the Junta de Andalucia (PI-0306-2012); Matilde E. Lleonart was supported by a trienal project grant PI12/01104 and by project CP03/00101 for personal support. Amaya Azqueta would like to thank the Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia (‘Juande la Cierva’ programme, 2009) of the Spanish Government for personal support; Amedeo Amedei was supported by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (2009FZZ4XM_002), and the University of Florence (ex60%2012); Andrew R.Collins was supported by the University of Oslo; Annamaria Colacci was supported by the Emilia-Romagna Region - Project ‘Supersite’ in Italy; Carolyn Baglole was supported by a salary award from the Fonds de recherche du Quebec-Sante (FRQS); Chiara Mondello’s laboratory is supported by Fondazione Cariplo in Milan, Italy (grant n. 2011-0370); Christian C.Naus holds a Canada Research Chair; Clement Yedjou was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH-NIMHD grant no. G12MD007581); Daniel C.Koch is supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Award and the Tumor Biology Training grant: NIH T32CA09151; Dean W. Felsher would like to acknowledge the support of United States Department of Health and Human Services, NIH grants (R01 CA170378 PQ22, R01 CA184384, U54 CA149145, U54 CA151459, P50 CA114747 and R21 CA169964); Emilio Rojas would like to thank CONACyT support 152473; Ezio Laconi was supported by AIRC (Italian Association for Cancer Research, grant no. IG 14640) and by the Sardinian Regional Government (RAS); Eun-Yi Moon was supported by grants from the Public Problem-Solving Program (NRF-015M3C8A6A06014500) and Nuclear R&D Program (#2013M2B2A9A03051296 and 2010-0018545) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) and funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) in Korea; Fahd Al-Mulla was supported by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (2011-1302-06); Ferdinando Chiaradonna is supported by SysBioNet, a grant for the Italian Roadmap of European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and by AIRC (Associazione Italiana Ricerca sul Cancro; IG 15364); Francis L.Martin acknowledges funding from Rosemere Cancer Foundation; he also thanks Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS trust and the patients who have facilitated the studies he has undertaken over the course of the last 10 years; Gary S.Goldberg would like to acknowledge the support of the New Jersey Health Foundation; Gloria M.Calaf was supported by Fondo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (FONDECYT), Ministerio de Educación de Chile (MINEDUC), Universidad de Tarapacá (UTA); Gudrun Koppen was supported by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Belgium; Hemad Yasaei was supported from a triennial project grant (Strategic Award) from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction (NC3Rs) of animals in research (NC.K500045.1 and G0800697); Hiroshi Kondoh was supported in part by grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan, Japan Science and Technology Agency and by JST, CREST; Hsue- Yin Hsu was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan (NSC93-2314-B-320-006 and NSC94-2314-B-320-002); Hyun Ho Park was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012R1A2A2A01010870) and a grant from the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI13C1449); Igor Koturbash is supported by the UAMS/ NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (UL1TR000039 and KL2TR000063) and the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, the major research component of the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000; Jan Vondráček acknowledges funding from the Czech Science Foundation (13-07711S); Jesse Roman thanks the NIH for their support (CA116812); John Pierce Wise Sr. and Sandra S.Wise were supported by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (ES016893 to J.P.W.) and the Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health; Jonathan Whitfield acknowledges support from the FERO Foundation in Barcelona, Spain; Joseph Christopher is funded by Cancer Research UK and the International Journal of Experimental Pathology; Julia Kravchenko is supported by a philanthropic donation by Fred and Alice Stanback; Jun Sun is supported by a Swim Across America Cancer Research Award; Karine A.Cohen- Solal is supported by a research scholar grant from the American Cancer Society (116683-RSG-09-087-01-TBE); Laetitia Gonzalez received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Fund for Scientific Research–Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen) and support by an InterUniversity Attraction Pole grant (IAP-P7-07); Laura Soucek is supported by grant #CP10/00656 from the Miguel Servet Research Contract Program and acknowledges support from the FERO Foundation in Barcelona, Spain; Liang-Tzung Lin was supported by funding from the Taipei Medical University (TMU101-AE3-Y19); Linda Gulliver is supported by a Genesis Oncology Trust (NZ) Professional Development Grant, and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; Louis Vermeulen is supported by a Fellowship of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF, UVA2011-4969) and a grant from the AICR (14–1164); Mahara Valverde would like to thank CONACyT support 153781; Masoud H. Manjili was supported by the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (USA) through the Breast Cancer Research Program under Award No. W81XWH-14-1-0087 Neetu Singh was supported by grant #SR/FT/LS-063/2008 from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India; Nicole Kleinstreuer is supported by NIEHS contracts (N01-ES 35504 and HHSN27320140003C); P.K. Krishnakumar is supported by the Funding (No. T.K. 11-0629) of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Paola A.Marignani is supported by the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, The Beatrice Hunter Cancer Institute and CIHR and the Nova Scotia Lung Association; Paul Dent is the holder of the Universal Inc. Chair in Signal Transduction Research and is supported with funds from PHS grants from the NIH (R01-CA141704, R01-CA150214, R01-DK52825 and R01-CA61774); Petr Heneberg was supported by the Charles University in Prague projects UNCE 204015 and PRVOUK P31/2012, and by the Czech Science Foundation projects P301/12/1686 and 15-03834Y; Po Sing Leung was supported by the Health and Medical Research Fund of Food and Health Bureau, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Ref. No: 10110021; Qiang Cheng was supported in part by grant NSF IIS-1218712; R. Brooks Robey is supported by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; Rabindra Roy was supported by United States Public Health Service Grants (RO1 CA92306, RO1 CA92306-S1 and RO1 CA113447); Rafaela Andrade- Vieira is supported by the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute and the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation; Renza Vento was partially funded by European Regional Development Fund, European Territorial Cooperation 2007–13 (CCI 2007 CB 163 PO 037, OP Italia-Malta 2007–13) and grants from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) ex-60%, 2007; Riccardo Di Fiore was a recipient of fellowship granted by European Regional Development Fund, European Territorial Cooperation 2007–2013 (CCI 2007 CB 163 PO 037, OP Italia-Malta 2007–2013); Rita Dornetshuber-Fleiss was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF, project number T 451-B18) and the Johanna Mahlke, geb.-Obermann-Stiftung; Roberta Palorini is supported by a SysBioNet fellowship; Roslida Abd Hamid is supported by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia-Exploratory Research Grant Scheme-Project no: ERGS/1-2013/5527165; Sabine A.S.Langie is the beneficiary of a postdoctoral grant from the AXA Research Fund and the Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award 2013; Sakina Eltom is supported by NIH grant SC1CA153326; Samira A.Brooks was supported by National Research Service Award (T32 ES007126) from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the HHMI Translational Medicine Fellowship; Sandra Ryeom was supported by The Garrett B. Smith Foundation and the TedDriven Foundation; Thierry Massfelder was supported by the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale INSERM and Université de Strasbourg; Thomas Sanderson is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR; MOP- 115019), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC; 313313) and the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP; 17UB-8703); Tiziana Guarnieri is supported by a grant from Fundamental Oriented Research (RFO) to the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy and thanks the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna and the Fondazione Banca del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna for supporting the Center for Applied Biomedical Research, S.Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna, Italy; W.Kimryn Rathmell is supported by the V Foundation for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society; William K.Decker was supported in part by grant RP110545 from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas; William H.Bisson was supported with funding from the NIH P30 ES000210; Yon Rojanasakul was supported with NIH grant R01-ES022968; Zhenbang Chen is supported by NIH grants (MD004038, CA163069 and MD007593); Zhiwei Hu is grateful for the grant support from an institutional start-up fund from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and The OSU James Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC) and a Seed Award from the OSUCCC Translational Therapeutics Program.
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