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In lab tests, the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan spurs growth of breast cancer cells

Date:
April 23, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Some manufacturers are turning away from using triclosan as an antimicrobial ingredient in soaps, toothpastes and other products over health concerns. And now scientists are reporting new evidence that appears to support these worries. Their study found that triclosan, as well as another commercial substance called octylphenol, promoted the growth of human breast cancer cells in lab dishes and breast cancer tumors in mice.

Some manufacturers are turning away from using triclosan as an antimicrobial ingredient in soaps, toothpastes and other products over health concerns.
Credit: Rasulov / Fotolia

Some manufacturers are turning away from using triclosan as an antimicrobial ingredient in soaps, toothpastes and other products over health concerns. And now scientists are reporting new evidence that appears to support these worries. Their study, published in the ACS journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, found that triclosan, as well as another commercial substance called octylphenol, promoted the growth of human breast cancer cells in lab dishes and breast cancer tumors in mice.

Kyung-Chul Choi and colleagues note that hormonal imbalances seem to play a role in the development of breast cancer. Given that link, researchers are investigating whether endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which are compounds that act like hormones, might spur cancer cell growth. EDCs have become ubiquitous in products, in the environment and even in our bodies. Research has found that two EDCs -- triclosan, an antimicrobial ingredient in many products, including soaps, cosmetics and cutting boards; and octylphenol, which is in some paints, pesticides and plastics -- have accumulated in the environment. Additionally, triclosan is reportedly in the urine of an estimated 75 percent of Americans. Choi's team wanted to see what effect the two compounds have on breast cancer cells.

In tests on human breast cancer cells and in special immunodeficient mice with tissue grafts, the scientists found that both agents interfered with genes involved with breast cancer cell growth, resulting in more cancer cells. Mice that were exposed to the two compounds had larger and denser breast cancer tumors than the control group. "Although the doses of EDCs were somewhat high, we did this to simulate their effects of daily exposure, as well as body accumulation due to long-term exposure, simultaneously in animal experiments," said Choi. "Thus, exposure to EDCs may significantly increase the risk of breast cancer development and adversely affect human health," the researchers state in the paper.

The authors cite funding from the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Rural Development Administration of Korea.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hye-Rim Lee, Kyung-A Hwang, Ki-Hoan Nam, Hyoung-Chin Kim, Kyung-Chul Choi. Progression of Breast Cancer Cells Was Enhanced by Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, Triclosan and Octylphenol, via an Estrogen Receptor-Dependent Signaling Pathway in Cellular and Mouse Xenograft Models. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 2014; 140408123000001 DOI: 10.1021/tx5000156

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "In lab tests, the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan spurs growth of breast cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423102756.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, April 23). In lab tests, the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan spurs growth of breast cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423102756.htm
American Chemical Society. "In lab tests, the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan spurs growth of breast cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423102756.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

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