Cancer and inflammation linked again

We know many things about cancer growth and inflammation is shown to be at the top of the list of things to avoid.  The modern diet is highly inflammatory.

“Chronic inflammation drives a lot of cancers, including pancreatic, esophageal, liver, and colon cancers. There are things that people with chronic inflammation could do to avoid exposures that would be problematic for them. For example, certain foods lead to DNA damage and could be avoided”

Bevin Engelward, MIT professor of biological engineering, deputy director of the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences. 

This new MIT study shows another reason why those people with inflammatory diseases, inflammatory conditions or inflammatory diets, suffer higher rates of cancer.

This is not new really but it is good to see more science uncovering the various mechanisms around all the different cancer triggers and cancer growth.

This study found that exposure to DNA-damaging chemicals (a side effect after inflammation), increases cancer mutation – raising cancer growth risk.

“These findings suggest that chronic inflammation potentially results in increased DNA damage and proliferation that together can conspire to increase the chance of cancer formation”
Peter McKinnon, a professor of genetics and tumor cell biology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, January 2015 

The pancreatic cancer cell study found “inflammation-provoked cell division does not start happening until several days after inflammation begins, while most of the DNA damage occurs right away. This DNA damage is repaired fairly easily without causing potentially cancerous mutations. However, if another bout of inflammation induces DNA damage at a time when cells are dividing due to the previous bout of inflammation, many mutations appear”.

This makes for quite the challenge as many chemotherapy drugs work by damaging DNA.  This also leads to the inevitable conclusion that diet, lifestyle and environment (which all either cause inflammation or prevent it), are critical in cancer prevention, care and treatment.

Study by Orsolya Kiraly, Guanyu Gong, Werner Olipitz, Sureshkumar Muthupalani and Bevin Engelward, MIT professor of biological engineering, deputy director of the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences, as published in PLoS Genetics, January 15, 2015. These studies were supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences with additional support from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Posted: Tuesday 5 May 2015