Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sick Kids Researchers Link Maternal Folic Acid Intake To Decrease In Deadly Childhood Cancer

Date:
September 29, 2003
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
A research team at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) and the University of Toronto (U of T) has shown that folic acid food fortification has resulted in a 60 per cent reduction in the incidence of neuroblastoma, a deadly childhood cancer.

A research team at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) and the University of Toronto (U of T) has shown that folic acid food fortification has resulted in a 60 per cent reduction in the incidence of neuroblastoma, a deadly childhood cancer. This research is reported in the September 2003 issue of the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Related Articles


"Our research indicates that this is the first paediatric cancer that can be prevented through maternal diet," said Dr. Gideon Koren, the study's principal investigator, director of HSC's Motherisk Program, a senior scientist in the HSC Research Institute, and a professor of Paediatrics, Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Medicine and Medical Genetics at U of T. "The role of folic acid in preventing neural tube defects such as spina bifida was already known. This study also suggests a link between folic acid and neuroblastoma."

Neuroblastoma is the second most common paediatric tumour and the most prevalent solid tumour that occurs outside of the brain in children under the age of five, affecting one in every 6,000 to 7,000 children in North America. Because this cancer develops in utero, neuroblastoma is the most commonly diagnosed malignant tumour of infancy. The aggressive nature of this tumour also makes it the most common cause of cancer-related death among children one to four years old.

When a number of Sick Kids oncologists noticed a decline in new neuroblastoma diagnoses, they sought to investigate the cause. In this study, the researchers looked at the incidence of neuroblastoma in Ontario, using the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) registry, before and after the mandatory folic acid food fortification program. In 1997, Canada began fortifying flour with folic acid to aid in the prevention of neural tube defects. The POGO registry is a database that captures information on 95 per cent of all paediatric cancers in Ontario, which is submitted by the five major paediatric oncology centres in the province.

"This study shows the benefit of a population-based approach to studying childhood cancer, as we can look at trends and possible prevention strategies," said Dr. Mark Greenberg, a senior staff oncologist at Sick Kids, holder of the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) Chair in Childhood Cancer Control, and a professor of Paediatrics and Surgery at U of T.

The research team also looked at the effect maternal folic acid intake had on infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia and hepablastoma, two childhood cancers that also have embryonal origins. However, no decline in these cancers was noted after the folic acid food fortification program was introduced.

"We need to investigate further the role of metabolism in the formation and prevention of neuroblastoma and other cancers that develop in utero. We will also look at whether folic acid has an impact on neuroblastoma after the cancer has already developed," added Dr. Koren.

Other members of the research team included Amy French, the study's lead author, a U of T graduate student, and the recipient of a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada scholarship and the ASCPT Presidential Student Award, Drs. Ron Grant, Sheila Weitzman, and Lillian Sung, all from The Hospital for Sick Children, and Dr. Joel Ray and Marian Vermeulen from Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre.

###

This research was supported by The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation.

The Hospital for Sick Children, affiliated with the University of Toronto, is Canada's most research-intensive hospital and the largest centre dedicated to improving children's health in the country. Its mission is to provide the best in family-centred, compassionate care, to lead in scientific and clinical advancement, and to prepare the next generation of leaders in child health. For more information, please visit http://www.sickkids.ca.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Sick Kids Researchers Link Maternal Folic Acid Intake To Decrease In Deadly Childhood Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030929055304.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2003, September 29). Sick Kids Researchers Link Maternal Folic Acid Intake To Decrease In Deadly Childhood Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030929055304.htm
University Of Toronto. "Sick Kids Researchers Link Maternal Folic Acid Intake To Decrease In Deadly Childhood Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030929055304.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins