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The Impact of Reducing Chemical Exposure to the Human Breast

Shanaz Dairkee, PhD, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, Polly Marshall, Esq., Breast Cancer Over Time, William Goodson III, MD, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, San Francisco, CA
Study abstract

Background: Several high volume chemicals in our environment are estrogenic mimics, referred to as xenoestrogens (XEs). In principle, XE overexposure could disrupt normal hormonal balance and thus adversely affect tissues, such as the breast that are highly responsive to estrogenic signaling. Data from XE exposure of animal models has sufficiently demonstrated pathological consequences at the tissue level, also reflected as cellular and molecular changes in malignant and non-malignant breast epithelial cultures. Importantly, XEs persist in detectable quantities within body fluids of the human population-at-large, yet safe regulatory limits await a direct demonstrable role in the induction of human disease. However, due to the ubiquitous environmental distribution of these chemicals, classical methods of identifying causal associations with cancer occurrence through long-term observational studies of exposed vs. unexposed subjects, are not feasible. Pragmatic, and ethically acceptable approaches to evaluate the propensity of such chemicals to disrupt normal cellular programming of target tissues within
Hypothesis/Questions: The research team postulates that because persistent XE exposure plays a causal role in breast carcinogenesis, an intervention to curtail such exposure, designated as XEL (XE-Low), will result in the reduced occurrence of biological events of cellular and molecular malfunction associated with cancer development and progression.

Study review

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of over-the-counter personal care products on women’s breast cells. The researchers wanted to enroll up to 20 volunteers and used the Army of Women (AOW) as one of their recruitment sources. The Call to Action for this study was sent to AOW members on August 17, 2016. The researchers closed enrollment on May 1, 2017. The AOW provided them with 11 women who were interested in enrolling in the study.