1217804101 Image credit: Westend61/Getty Images

A new study has suggested that people who exercise in the morning between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. may be less likely to develop cancers than those who exercise later in the day.

New research has suggested that people who exercise in the early morning may have a reduced risk of developing cancer than those who exercise later in the day.

The research, appearing in the International Journal of Cancer, may help inform future research into the timing of exercise as a potential way of reducing cancer risk.

Cancer, sleep, and exercise

Research has shown that doing recreational exercise can reduce a person’s risk of developing many different cancers.

This information is important because of the high numbers of people who develop cancer and the significant number who die of the disease. For example, in the United States, scientists estimate that by the end of 2020, 1,806,590 people will receive a diagnosis of cancer, while 606,520 people will die from the disease.

Given the large numbers of people who develop cancer, even a change as small as changing the time a person exercises could make a significant contribution to reducing the impact of cancer across a whole population.

As of 2018, 46.7% of adults in the U.S. did not meet the minimum aerobic physical activity guidelines. Increasing physical activity and optimizing when it is most effective might be a possible way of reducing the prevalence of cancer in society.

There is also evidence that a person’s circadian rhythm may have links to their chance of developing cancer. The phrase circadian rhythm refers to the biological processes that affect a person’s sleep-wake cycle.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified the level of evidence linking night shift work that disrupts a person’s circadian rhythm as “probably” carcinogenic to humans.

In particular, researchers have linked night shift work to an increased risk of breast cancer. The evidence for prostate cancer remains unclear.

Scientists have shown that exercise also has a relationship with a person’s circadian rhythm. According to 2019 research, exercising during the day may help improve a person’s circadian rhythm and lessen the adverse effects of disrupted sleep patterns.

Given that exercise can potentially reduce the risks of cancer and improve circadian rhythms and disrupted circadian rhythms can increase cancer risk, the authors of the new research hypothesized that the timing of physical activity might affect cancer risk.

1,285 people with cancer, 1,510 controls

To test this hypothesis, the researchers behind the present study analyzed the data from 2,795 participants. The participants were a subset of the Spanish multi case-control study (MCC-Spain), which set out to understand factors causing common cancers in Spain and how to prevent them.

From 2008–2013, researchers interviewed the participants to find out their lifetime recreational and household physical activity. An average of 3 years later, researchers assessed the timing of when people exercised.

The researchers looked in particular at the 781 women who had breast cancer and also responded to the questionnaire about their physical activity and 504 men who had prostate cancer and provided data about the timing of their exercise.

The researchers chose the controls in the MCC-Spain study randomly from general practice records. The researchers matched them to people in the study with cancer who were of the same sex and similar age. The controls in this study also responded to the follow-up questions about physical activity and its timings.

Early exercise and reduced cancer risk

The researchers found that physical activity between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. had the strongest potential beneficial effect at reducing breast and prostate cancer.

About 7% of the people with breast cancer and 9% of people in the control group undertook most of their exercise in the early morning. About 12.7% of people with prostate cancer and 14% of the control group did early morning exercise.

The researchers developed a model that showed that the odds of developing breast cancer were potentially 25% lower due to exercising in the morning compared with not exercising.

However, the statistical confidence of this estimate ranges from a 52% reduction to a 15% increase in risk.

The results show a similar picture for prostate cancer. The model predicted that those who exercised in the early morning had a 27% reduced chance of having prostate cancer than non-exercisers. However, the range went from a 56% reduction to a 20% increase.

People who exercised in the evening, between 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., had a 25% reduced risk for developing prostate cancer. However, as with the early morning findings, the evidence is not statistically significant.

The researchers suggest that any beneficial effects of early exercise for breast cancer risk may have links to estrogen. High estrogen levels have associations with an increased risk of breast cancer, and exercise can lower estrogen levels. Further, estrogen production is most active at around 7:00 a.m.

Melatonin may also be a factor. Researchers have shown that melatonin may protect against cancer risk and that exercise later in the day or at night can delay melatonin production.

As the researchers note, the study has limitations, and they could not detect the small effect that the timing of exercise might have with certainty.

However, the small size of the effect does not mean it is unimportant. Cancer is a prolific disease, and any small effects, when amplified across a population, can be important.

Other study problems include not recording all the information for all participants and not considering some confounding variables, such as diet and sleep patterns.

However, these were minor issues relative to the sample size, and the differences between the cases and controls in this study were small.

Nonetheless, the study clarifies the value of exploring the association between exercise time and cancer risk further.

For Dr. Manolis Kogevinas, Scientific Director of the Severo Ochoa Distinction at ISGlobal in Barcelona and the coordinator of the study, “[t]hese results, if confirmed, may improve current physical activity recommendations for cancer prevention. [What is] clear is that everyone can reduce their cancer risk simply by being moderately physically active for at least 150 minutes each week.”

1205458424 Image credit: Rapeepong Puttakumwong / Getty Images.

A new study in mice has suggested that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, can help prevent colon cancer associated with ulcerative colitis.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of chronic conditions that affect the colon and small intestine. They include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Rates of IBD increased drastically in the latter half of the 20th century, and they continue to rise in certain countries. Indeed, in the United States, around 3 million adults received an IBD diagnosis in 2015.

The recent surge in the prevalence of these conditions suggests that something in the way we live may precipitate onset. For example, researchers have suggested that increased meat consumption may be a factor.

Increasing diagnoses are a particular concern, as people with IBD have a higher risk of developing colon cancer, a condition with an average 5-year survival rate of 63%. Colon cancer is also becoming increasingly common among young people.

In a new study that appears in the journal iScience, researchers from the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia trialed a novel approach to preventing colon cancer.

They treated mice with the cannabis compound THC, which effectively prevented inflammation and stopped the development of colon cancer.

THC can prevent inflammation

The scientists based the study on mouse models of colitis-associated colon cancer. They treated some of the mice with THC, while the mice in the control group received only a vehicle, which is similar to a placebo.

At the end of the study, the mice who received THC showed no tumors, unlike the control group. The mice in the THC group also had significantly less colonic inflammation, which is a symptom of IBD.

“The fact that we were able to show that treatment with THC prevents inflammation in the colon and at the same time inhibits the development of colon cancer supports the notion that inflammation and colon cancer are closely linked,” explains senior study author Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti.

The researchers went on to explore how THC may be having this effect. They found that the compound binds to cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2), which is expressed on immune cells and throughout the gastrointestinal system.

“Thus, in [people] who are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer, THC or other anti-inflammatory agents may be beneficial,” adds Dr. Nagarkatti.

Mechanism of action

CB2 receptors modulate inflammation in the intestine, and scientists have previously identified them as a potential therapeutic target for IBD. This study provides valuable proof of concept for this idea.

“[C]ompounds that activate CB2 and cause no psychoactive effects may be beneficial to prevent IBD and colon cancer.” – Study co-author Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti, chair of the Center for Cancer Drug Discovery at USC

Future efforts will focus on developing non-psychoactive compounds that target the CB2 receptor to elicit similar effects.

The study also provides extensive mechanistic detail on how the pathway works, showing that the action of THC binding to the CB2 receptor triggers an anti-inflammatory process.

As a result, cells in the intestine are less likely to secrete pro-inflammatory molecules and instead secrete anti-inflammatory molecules. These molecules recruit regulatory T cells, which are a type of immune cell that can help resolve inflammation and protect against cancer.

These findings advance the biological understanding of IBD and will be beneficial for future drug development efforts.

Limitations of the study

It is important to note that this study demonstrates a preventive, but not a curative, effect. This means that there is no evidence to suggest that THC or other CB2 agonists could treat IBD or colon cancer.

This study is also not recommending the use of cannabis to prevent colon cancer. It merely indicates that the development of non-psychoactive compounds targeting the CB2 receptor may be beneficial in people with IBD.

In laboratory studies, the active component of honeybee venom rapidly killed two types of breast cancer cells that are particularly difficult to treat. Crucially, the toxin left healthy cells unharmed.

For thousands of years, humans have used honey, propolis, and venom from the European honeybee Apis mellifera as medicines.

More recently, scientists have discovered that honeybee venom and its active component, melittin, are toxic to a wide range of tumors — including melanoma, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers — in laboratory tests.

Melittin is the molecule that creates the painful sensation of a bee’s sting. Scientists do not fully understand how it kills cancer cells, however.

For the first time, researchers have investigated the effect of melittin and honeybee venom on a range of breast cancers, including two of the most aggressive and hard-to-treat types.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. The two aggressive types, known as triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer, are associated with the poorest outcomes. They tend to develop resistance to existing treatments.

Scientists at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth, Australia, and the University of Western Australia, also in Perth, found that melittin and honeybee venom rapidly kill these cancer types, with negligible effects on normal cells.

“The venom was extremely potent,” says Dr. Ciara Duffy, who led the research. “We found that melittin can completely destroy cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes.”

The study also showed that venom from bumblebees, which contains no melittin, did not kill the cancer cells — even at high concentrations.

The scientists report their work in the journal npj Precision Oncology.

Blocking messages

Melittin can kill cells in under 1 hour by punching holes in their outer membrane. However, within 20 minutes of administration, it also disrupts the passing of chemical messages that the cells need to grow and divide.

“We looked at how honeybee venom and melittin affect the cancer signaling pathways, the chemical messages that are fundamental for cancer cell growth and reproduction, and we found that very quickly these signaling pathways were shut down,” says Dr. Duffy.

The scientists discovered that melittin does this by preventing the activation of receptors for growth factors in the cells’ membrane. One of the reasons that HER2-enriched cancer cells and some triple-negative breast cancers grow uncontrollably is that they have large numbers of these receptors.

By preventing these growth signals from getting through, melittin halts the cells’ proliferation.

Prof. Peter Klinken, who was not involved in the research, is the chief scientist of Western Australia. He welcomes the findings, saying, “This is an incredibly exciting observation that melittin, a major component of honeybee venom, can suppress the growth of deadly breast cancer cells, particularly triple-negative breast cancer.”

He adds:

“Significantly, this study demonstrates how melittin interferes with signaling pathways within breast cancer cells to reduce cell replication. It provides another wonderful example of where compounds in nature can be used to treat human diseases.”

Combination therapy

Because melittin creates holes in cell membranes, it may also allow existing chemotherapy drugs to penetrate and kill cancer cells.

To test this possibility, the researchers treated a mouse model of triple-negative breast cancer with a combination of melittin and a drug called docetaxel. This proved more effective at shrinking the tumors than either docetaxel or melittin alone.

Doctors could potentially use this strategy to increase the efficacy or reduce the dosage of chemotherapy drugs, thereby reducing harmful side effects.

The study authors note that honeybee venom is relatively cheap and easily obtainable, making it a good option for cancer treatment in countries with poorly resourced health services.

They write:

“Honeybee venom is available globally and offers cost effective and easily accessible treatment options in remote or less developed regions. Further research will be required to assess whether the venom of some genotypes of bees has more potent or specific anticancer activities, which could then be exploited.”

This line of research is in its infancy, with researchers yet to perform clinical trials in humans to assess the safety and efficacy of melittin for treating breast cancer.

Although this particular study found no evidence of harm to noncancerous cells, other studies suggest otherwise. Therefore, healthcare professionals may need to carefully target melittin to tumors to prevent collateral damage to healthy tissue.

The authors of a recent study found that healthy older adults who took a daily, low dose of aspirin were at higher risk of receiving a diagnosis of advanced cancers and dying from cancer than those who took a placebo.

The findings raise the possibility that taking aspirin every day may make cancers worse once they have developed in this age group.

In recent years, there have been high hopes that taking a daily, low dose of aspirin might help protect older people from dementiacognitive decline, and cancer.

Doctors widely prescribe daily aspirin to people at high risk of cardiovascular problems.

In addition, some clinical trials involving mostly middle-aged adults have found that aspirin may reduce the risk of developing cancer, especially colorectal cancer.

However, until recently, evidence for the drug’s use as a preventive treatment in otherwise healthy older people has been lacking.

A study originally published in March 2020 suggested that taking a daily low dose of aspirin did not protect older people from cognitive decline and dementia.

The latest study, which investigated the same cohort of individuals, reports that daily aspirin increases the risk of receiving a diagnosis of advanced cancers and cancer that has spread or metastasized.

The results found associations between daily aspirin and increased cancer mortality over the follow-up period.

The scientists published their findings in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

ASPREE trial

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the Berman Center in Minneapolis, MN, and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, carried out the recent study.

They analyzed results from the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial, which included 19,114 individuals living in Australia and the United States. None of the participants had cardiovascular disease, dementia, or physical disability at the start of the study.

Most participants were over 70 years of age, apart from African American and Hispanic participants in the U.S., who were over 65 years of age.

Researchers randomly assigned the participants to take either 100 milligrams of aspirin per day or a placebo.

An earlier analysis of outcomes in the two groups after a mean follow-up period of 4.7 years found a higher number of deaths from all causes in the aspirin group. Most of the excess deaths were due to cancer.

The latest study examined aspirin’s effect on cancer diagnoses and deaths as a result of cancer in greater detail.

Overall, 981 participants who were taking aspirin and 952 who were taking placebo developed cancer. This difference between the two groups was not statistically significant.

However, daily aspirin had associations with a 19% higher risk of metastatic cancer and a 22% higher risk of receiving a diagnosis of advanced cancer compared with a placebo.

The results also indicated that people in the aspirin group were at a higher risk of dying during follow-up due to advanced cancer.

“Deaths were particularly high among those on aspirin who were diagnosed with advanced solid cancers, suggesting a possible adverse effect of aspirin on the growth of cancers once they have already developed in older adults,” says senior author Dr. Andrew T. Chan of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

“Although these results suggest that we should be cautious about starting aspirin therapy in otherwise healthy older adults, this does not mean that individuals who are already taking aspirin — particularly if they began taking it at a younger age — should stop their aspirin regimen.” – Dr. Andrew T. Chan

In their paper, the researchers also point out that the increased cancer mortality risk associated with taking aspirin in their study equated to an extra 1.5 deaths per 1,000 person years. This is relatively small compared with the risk of mortality from other causes.

Blunted immune response?

Aspirin reduces inflammation in the body. The researchers write that one possible explanation for their finding may be that aspirin suppresses or “blunts” immune responses that are critical to controlling the growth and spread of cancer at later stages of its development.

They note that other research has found differences between the biology and behavior of tumors in older adults and younger individuals.

“These reports make it plausible that aspirin might also act differently, at the cellular or molecular level, in older individuals,” they write.

A meta-analysis of trials involving populations around 10 years younger than in ASPREE, published in 2019, found that taking daily low dose aspirin for around 5 years neither increased nor decreased cancer incidence or mortality.

Other research suggests that it may take at least 10 years of taking daily aspirin before there is a beneficial reduction in the incidence of colorectal cancer.

There may also be a delayed benefit in older people that only becomes apparent after a longer follow-up period. The authors of the current study write:

“Cancer molecular and genetic data give reason to suggest that the potential adverse impact of aspirin identified in ASPREE might be specific to this age group. The cohort continues to be followed to explore the possibility of a delayed reduction in cancer incidence and/or mortality that may emerge with longer-term observation.”

Thanks to advanced medical treatments, women diagnosed with breast cancer today will likely survive the disease. However, some treatment options put these women at greater risk for a number of other health problems.

A new study out of Brazil shows that postmenopausal women with breast cancer are at greater risk for developing heart disease. Results are published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Cardiovascular disease remains the main cause of death in postmenopausal women, and women treated for breast cancer are at greater risk of developing heart disease than those not diagnosed with breast cancer. These cardiovascular effects may occur more than five years after radiation exposure, with the risk persisting for up to 30 years.

The goal of the new study was to compare and evaluate risk factors for cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women who are survivors of breast cancer and women without breast cancer. The researchers found that postmenopausal women who are survivors of breast cancer showed a markedly stronger association with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertriglyceridemia, and abdominal obesity, which are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The risk of cardiovascular mortality similarly increased to match death rates from the cancer itself.

Findings were published in the article “High risk for cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors.”

“Heart disease appears more commonly in women treated for breast cancer because of the toxicities of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and use of aromatase inhibitors, which lower estrogen. Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications will decrease both the risk of recurrent breast cancer and the risk of developing heart disease,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “Women should schedule a cardiology consultation when breast cancer is diagnosed and continue with ongoing follow-up after cancer treatments are completed.”

The quantity of chemicals in preserved beans sold across the country is unsafe for consumers, as its long term effects could lead to cancer and kidney-related diseases among others, Daily Trust investigation reveals.

Checks also show that some of the pesticides have been banned in other countries but are freely used in Nigeria despite the fact that they portend grave danger to consumers.

Many farmers and grain merchants in Nigeria employ various insects control measures, including the use of chemicals, Daily Trust reports.

It was gathered that grain merchants resorted to pesticide control measures in order to mitigate losses as beans (cowpea) are highly susceptible to pest infestation, leading to huge post-harvest losses, lower food quality, and poor food safety.

Laboratory analysis carried out by Daily Trust shows that consumers of grains preserved with pesticides, including beans are at risk due to their harmful effects.

Further checks show that aside from acute effects, which include abdominal pain, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, long term effects of consuming grains preserved with pesticides could lead to cancer and kidney diseases.

Samples of beans were randomly obtained from markets in six states across the geopolitical zones, including Abuja, and tested in a laboratory at the University of Agriculture Makurdi, Benue State.

The laboratory analysis revealed that the amount of pesticide residue on preserved beans sold in the markets is high and therefore harmful to humans.

An alarm on the availability of beans preserved with poisonous substances and sold to unsuspecting buyers in Nigerian markets was earlier raised in September last year by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Daily Trust reports.

It followed the information that had gone viral on social media about some retailers reported to be using a particular insecticide, sniper, to preserve beans.

The CPC’s Director-General, Babatunde Irukera, was quoted as saying: “CPC has confirmed credible information that retailers, mostly in the open markets, are using pesticides to preserve beans. They use 2.2 Dichlorovinyl Dimethyl Phosphate (DDVP) compound otherwise marketed and known as sniper, to preserve beans.”

The CPC had advised consumers to extensively parboil their beans before consuming them and to make sufficient inquiries before buying beans.

But the advice seems unheeded as Daily Trust checks revealed that farmers and marketers still use pesticides to protect beans from attacks, particularly from weevils, a sub-family of beetles that typically infest various kinds of beans or seeds, living most of their juvenile lives inside a single seed.

It was gathered that by their composition some of the chemicals used in cowpea preservation are potentially injurious when human beings are unduly exposed to them by inhalation, absorption, direct skin contact, or ingestion.

Experts lamented that sometimes the right amount of pesticide is not used. They also noted that some traders take their beans to the market even before the expiry date of the chemical used in preserving it. Actions they maintained could result in serious health hazards such as abdominal pain, dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. According to them, long term health risks associated with the consumption of pesticides through stored food or other means include diseases of the kidney, prostate, breast, pancreas, liver, lungs, and skin cancer.

Among the harmful chemicals used in preserving the beans samples analysed by Daily Trust are; Permethrin, Malathion, a-Endosulfan, b-Endosulfan, Aldrin, Dieldrin, Lindane, and Heptachlor.

The laboratory analysis based on Gas Chromatography (GC) shows that the highest concentration of recovered chemical residue on preserved beans (amounting to 0.047mg/kg) was found in Permethrin followed by a-Endosulfan and b-Endosulfan with a recovered chemical residue of 0.44 mg/kg. Malathion had a recovered chemical residue of 0.01mg/kg.

Pesticides with Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) were found in Aldrin and Dieldrin (0.014mg/kg) each Lindane (0.009mg/kg and Heptachlor (0.004mg/kg).

Harmful pesticides analysed

Checks by Daily Trust show that one of the harmful pesticides used for beans preservation in Nigeria, Permethrin, is listed as a “restricted use” substance by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to its high toxicity to aquatic organisms.

It is used both as a medication and insecticide. As a medication, it is used to treat scabies and lice while as an insecticide, it can be sprayed on clothing or mosquito nets to kill the insects that touch them.

Another pesticide, Malathion, an insecticide in the chemical family known as organophosphates kills insects by preventing their nervous system from working properly. When healthy nerves send signals to each other, a special chemical messenger travels from one nerve to another to continue the message.

The nerve signal stops when an enzyme is released into the space between the nerves. Malathion binds to the enzyme and prevents the nerve signal from stopping. This causes the nerves to signal each other without stopping. The constant nerve signals make it so the insects cannot move or breathe normally and they die.

Checks show that humans, pets, and other animals can be affected the same way as insects if they are exposed to enough Malathion as the same amount will be taken into the body whether one breathes or swallows it. Malathion is also said to be readily taken into the body through the skin, though the amount absorbed depends on where the exposure occurs on the body. Malathion can become more toxic if it has been sitting for a long time, especially in a hot place.

Humans could also be exposed to residues of Malathion, if they consume food that had been treated with this pesticide, Daily Trust checks show.

Another analysed pesticide, Endosulfan is a chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticide of the cyclodiene subgroup, which acts as a contact poison in a wide variety of insects and mites. It is used primarily on food crops like tea, fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Endosulfan is said to be a highly toxic substance and carries the signal word ‘DANGER’ on the label while its toxicity is said to be partly dependent on the manner with which the pesticide is administered.

While several chronic effects are said to have been noted for animals exposed to endosulfan, checks also show that the pesticide is most likely to affect kidneys, liver, blood chemistry, and the parathyroid gland.

Experts speak on implications

An Associate Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dr. Nafiu Abdu, who carried out an independent analysis of the sampled test result, said pesticides applied in the sampled beans were more than the acceptable limit for human consumption.

Dr. Abdul explained that pesticides generally have direct and indirect effects on human health.

“These effects may be acute effects that occur immediately, which include skin rashes, blisters, blindness, diarrhea, dizziness, nausea and sometimes death or chronic adverse effects that occur years after exposure. These include cancer, reproductive disorders, including sterility, still birth, abortion and infertility as well as distortion of the central nervous system et cetera,” he said.

He, however, said pesticides application could be above the acceptable limit for human consumption, but that may not necessarily translate to being harmful.

“What determines the harmful effects of crops mixed with pesticides for storage is Health Risk Assessment. Therefore, health risk assessment has to be conducted before we can categorically say that the crops are harmful.

“The health risk assessment demands a long procedure that involves a lot of calculations. Parameters such as hazard quotient, average daily intake et cetera must be determined before concluding that such crops are risky for humans’ health,” he said.

On his part, a Consultant at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Dr. Abdulazeez Umar, said the major issue is the failure of farmers and traders to respect the guidelines of using such pesticides.

“Every pesticide has a duration that must expire before humans can safely consume crops preserved with it. Failure to respect this largely brings about the health hazard. For example, crops preserved with some pesticides must take one or two or more years before they can be safely consumed. However, because some people are desperate to make money, they bring such crops to market sometimes in less than three months.

“This brings about instant death after consumption on many occasions. Again, this is why you hear stories that many people have died after consuming beans at a party, for example. Similarly, chronic exposure can result in Neurodegenerative disorders, kidney failure, autoimmune diseases et cetera,” he said.

Why I avoid inorganic chemicals in preserving beans- Farmer

A Makurdi based large scale cowpea (beans) farmer, Vitalis Tarnongo said he uses organic resources in preserving his beans due to the harmful effects of using inorganic items (chemicals).

“I am very much aware of the harmful effect of preserving beans with chemicals such as sniper and rat poison. These can cause several health challenges to consumers such as cancer, heart failure, low sperm count and infertility.

“This is why I personally avoid those harmful chemicals and go for organic resources in preserving my beans. I am also aware that some of these chemicals are banned elsewhere but are freely used in Nigeria,” Tarnongo said, adding that he also partners with the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, on the use of organic chemicals in beans preservation.

Chemicals pose grave danger – Consumer Protection Council

The Federal Consumer and Competition Protection Commission (FCCPC) confirmed that beans preserved with sniper and other harmful chemicals pose grave danger to consumers.

In response to Daily Trust inquiry, the Head of the Public Relations Unit of FCCPC, Mr. Ondaje Ijagwu, said the Commission had been mounting regulatory measures to protect consumers from badly preserved beans.

“FCCPC recognises the grave danger posed to consumers by the use of sniper and other harmful chemicals to preserve beans. As such the Commission strongly advocates for a joint regulatory initiative to find a lasting solution to the menace,” he said.

Doctor talking to senior patient in medical practice

For World Hepatitis Day, Medical News Today spoke with Dr. Alexandra Buzea about hepatitis C — how the infection manifests, what treatments are available, and how to fight harmful stereotypes and misinformation about this illness.

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, the yearly day of awareness of hepatitis, a viral infection that affects the liver. It can result from different strains of the hepatitis virus: A, B, C, D, or E.

Hepatitis C infections are some of the most common that affect the liver. They are caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Globally, HCV affected an estimated 71 million people in 2015, and between 2013 and 2016, about 2.4 million people in the United States were living with HCV infections.

If a person does not receive a diagnosis and treatment, an HCV infection can become chronic, leading to a risk of cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver.

Because initial symptoms of an HCV infection can go undiagnosed for a long time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now advise “one-time hepatitis C testing of all adults (18 years and older) and all pregnant women during every pregnancy.”

To better understand how HCV infections manifest, what treatment options there are, and how to combat harmful stereotypes about the condition, MNT has spoken with Dr. Alexandra Buzea.

Dr. Buzea is a vascular surgeon with additional experience in liver, or hepatic, transplantation affiliated with the Ponderas Academic Hospital, in Bucharest, Romania.

We have lightly edited the interview transcript for clarity.

HCV cannot be contracted through hugging, ‘so hug away!’

MNT: What is hepatitis C, and what are its effects on health?

Dr. Alexandra Buzea: HCV is a well-known virus that can affect the liver, both in an acute form and in chronic form. HCV can lead to hepatitis — characterized by inflammation of the liver cells — ranging from a mild form lasting a few weeks to a lifelong disease.

What people need to understand is that this virus, although highly curable, if left untreated, becomes one of the main causes of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Most people do not exhibit any symptoms, but a few “unlucky” ones may experience fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and even jaundice.

MNT: How can a person contract HCV?

Dr. Alexandra Buzea: The most common way of becoming infected is through exposure to infected blood. A small quantity of it is enough for someone to contract the virus.

Although the most cited means of infection are through intravenous drug use, unsafe injection practices, contaminated blood transfusions or blood products, or inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, sometimes a small cut on the finger will suffice.

We should also mention other, less common ways of contracting HCV, like unsafe sexual practices or through birth. A mother who has contracted HCV can pass it on to her baby, but not through breast milk.

Hepatitis C is also not transmitted through sharing food or water with an infected person or through hugging them, but small gestures such as these can help them feel loved and safe in their community and help them recover faster — so hug away!

MNT: What are some therapeutic options?

Dr. Alexandra Buzea: Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available at the moment, but there are a few treatment options, and, of course, prevention plays a key role in medical practice.

Antiviral medication, pangenotypic direct-acting antivirals, can cure up to 95% of patients. We have to be aware that only about 30% of patients clear the virus spontaneously in 6 months and do not require treatment.

The rest will develop a chronic infection and will need antiviral medication, usually over 12–24 weeks, depending on the presence or absence of cirrhosis.

For people already infected with HCV, immunization with the hepatitis A and B vaccines is crucial in preventing co-infection and protecting the liver.

‘People need to be more empathetic and minimize the stigma’

MNT: Studies such as this one, published in Public Health Reports in 2016, suggest that baby boomers are the generation with the highest rate of HCV infections. Why is that?

Dr. Alexandra Buzea: HCV infections occur worldwide, but depending on the country, the virus can be concentrated in certain populations and, yes, even in certain age groups.

A few factors to blame could be infection control practices that were historically insufficient in HCV infection, the generation’s low compliance with screening, misinformation, the fear of disease — any disease — and the fact that, in many countries, the genotype distribution remains unknown.

Also, approximately 80% of people do not exhibit any symptoms after infection, or [they] experience general ones, such as fatigue, fever, or nausea, that do not prompt them to seek medical attention right away.

MNT: There are many harmful myths about HCV infections, such as the belief that they are incurable. How might the media and healthcare organisations fight such disinformation and encourage people to seek treatment and support?

Dr. Alexandra Buzea: Healthcare organizations can fight disinformation only through the help of mass media. Any means of communication is encouraged — newspapers, TV, radio, social media apps… even smoke signals, if that leads to a higher understanding of diseases.

However, the information sources must be reliable. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC are trustworthy and offer helpful explanations.

Taking the advice of a neighbor who recommends a tea because they used it and it “helped with liver problems” is not the best idea, because it can delay access to a treatment plan and affect the patient’s general health status.

Our collaborators in public relations carry the burden of developing informative campaigns that reach a broad spectrum of audiences.

I believe that understanding the implications of HCV infections motivates people to seek medical attention and screening, even in the absence of any symptoms.

MNT: Is there anything else you would like to mention to our readers, as we draw to a close?

Dr. Alexandra Buzea: I just want to point out that having an HCV infection is not a death sentence.

It is highly curable, as long as people know about it and seek care from healthcare specialists. As soon as we can diagnose it, we can treat it.

There are therapy options, even in more advanced phases of the disease — hepatic transplant is becoming more and more accessible, and antiviral treatments are increasingly affordable.

People need to be more empathetic with those who have HCV infections and minimize the stigma — if society would stop seeing it as a “shameful” disease, maybe more people would seek help for it without the fear of becoming outcasts.

Medical experts have warned that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases are responsible for the majority of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) deaths in the country.

President, NCD Alliance Nigeria, Olorogun Dr. Sonny F. Kuku, in his opening remarks during a webinar on, “Non-communicable Diseases and COVID-19 in Nigeria – The response”, held Tuesday, July 21, 2020, said: “… We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg and unfortunately, people with NCDs are at greater risk. It is impacting the poorest people and most vulnerable. People with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease are the most vulnerable. We are now seeing stroke as symptom. This means COVID-19, which is an infectious disease is manifesting as an NCD in the form of stroke…”

Vice President, Scientific Affairs, NCDs Alliance Nigeria, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, has said blamed the situation on the nation’s years of lack of commitment to the course of NCDs. The cardiologist said NCDs account for 29 per cent of deaths in Nigeria.

Akinroye, at the launch of the New Civil Society Solidarity Fund on NCDs in response to COVID-19, harped on the need to strengthen the healthcare system, intensify awareness, increase access to care and treatment, and vote more money for NCDs care and management.

However, the NCD Alliance Nigeria and 19 other global and national NCD Alliances have been awarded $300,000.

Akinroye added that regional and national NCD Alliance including NCD Alliance Nigeria would get $15,000 to address the critical needs of people living with NCDs during the pandemic through advocacy and communication activities that would support stronger organisational stability and resilience

According to the cardiologist, COVID-19 shows many connections between it and NCDs stating that people living with NCDs are more vulnerable to COVID-19 with a substantially higher risk o becoming severely ill or dying from the virus.

The expert said that actions taken to control NCDs in Nigeria include the launch o the First Multi-Sectoral Action Plan or Prevention and Control o NCDs by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and the NCD Alliance Nigeria Publication of the Handbook on Civil Society Organisation in NCDs.

“Activities in Nigeria will include the development of a database of people living with NCDs in Lagos, Osun, and Federal Capital Territory and by NCD area of focus. Also, establishment and support for people living with NCDs with skills and knowledge, and connect them to NCD Alliance Nigeria, federal Ministry o Health, World Health Organisation and State Ministry of Health in the four states,” he added.

Akinroye further stated that they would build capacity for people living with NCDs on advocacy for their rights to health, prevention, access to treatment and care; provision of support and empowerment

He explained that NCD Alliance Nigeria would develop a directory and a database in the states by area of focus cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, sickle cell disease, respiratory diseases and mental health and also develop advocacy communication materials targeting Lawmakers, Policymakers and opinion leaders that are persuasive and effective to improve prevention, care and access to treatment for people living with NCDs.

The expert, however, tasked the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 to mobilise for more testing and awareness amongst the grassroots and also provide free hypertensive and diabetic drugs or the vulnerable population.

Executive Director, NCD Alliance Nigeria, Prof. Akin Osibogun, also presented a paper on “NCDs in Nigeria and COVID-19: The Nigerian experience.”

Osibogun is a consultant public health physician/epidemiologist, a member of Lagos State COVID-19 Response Team and former Chief Medical Director (CMD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi Araba.

Member, Nutrition Committee, Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) and Food Scientist, Prof. Isaac Adebayo Adeyemi, spoke on “COVID-19 and Nutrition: Gathering evidence.”

Akinroye delivered a paper on “People Living with NCDs in Nigeria and COVID-19.”

Adeyemi, who is Vice chancellor of Bells University of Technology Ota, Ogun State, and the pioneer Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, said functional foods are important to boost the immune system.

Adeyemi said that a well functioning immune system is key to providing robust defence against pathogenic organisms. Adeyemi noted that mortality in people living with NCDs is likely the result of immune decline or impaired immune response.

The expert said that energy is required to fight the virus likewise, protein to produce essential antibodies.

He encouraged intake of Phytochemicals like quercetin from onions, phloretin and also Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as well as conventional foods containing bioactive food compounds like vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, fish and meat.

“Eat fresh and unprocessed food every day like fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains and animal products. Eat a moderate amount o fats and oils. Eat at home to reduce your rate of contact with other people,” he added.

Adeyemi urged the consumption of plant food such as grains, legumes and oilseeds, fruits and vegetables containing vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals.

He, however, stressed on the need to avoid the intake of caffeine, trans fat while also limiting the intake of salt because they are predisposing factors that contribute to morbidity o patients with COVID-19.

According to a study published in Scholars Journal of Applied Medical Sciences and titled “COVID-19 and Nutrition: Review of Available Evidence”, nutritional support is indicated for depleted patients with respiratory diseases because it provides not only supportive care, but direct intervention through improvement in respiratory and peripheral skeletal muscle function and in exercise performance.

The researchers noted: “A combination of oral nutritional supplements and exercise or anabolic stimulus appears to be the best approach to obtaining significant functional improvement. Patients responding to this treatment even demonstrated a decreased mortality. Furthermore, weight loss and malnutrition opens the door of infection reoccurrence. Poor response was related to the effects of systemic inflammation on dietary intake and catabolism.

“Dietary management of pre-existing diseases has been suggested as a strategy to minimise the potential risk of COVID-19 infection in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s and Colitis. WHO, dietetic associations and dietitians have been calling for patients with pre-existing conditions to continue abiding by their dietary advice and nutritional therapy steps received from their dietician if tested positive for COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) survey, prevention and treatment services for NCDs have been severely disrupted since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The survey, which was completed by 155 countries during a three-week period in May, confirmed that the impact is global, but that low-income countries are most affected.

This situation is of significant concern because people living with NCDs are at higher risk of severe COVID-19-related illness and death.

Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “The results of this survey confirm what we have been hearing from countries for a number of weeks now.

“Many people who need treatment for diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes have not been receiving the health services and medicines they need since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It’s vital that countries find innovative ways to ensure that essential services for NCDs continue, even as they fight COVID-19.”

The main finding is that health services have been partially or completely disrupted in many countries. More than half (53 per cent) of the countries surveyed have partially or completely disrupted services for hypertension treatment; 49 per cent for treatment for diabetes and diabetes-related complications; 42 per cent for cancer treatment, and 31 per cent for cardiovascular emergencies.

Rehabilitation services have been disrupted in almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of countries, even though rehabilitation is key to a healthy recovery following a severe illness from COVID-19.

In the majority (94 per cent) of countries responding, ministries of health staff working in the area of NCDs were partially or fully reassigned to support COVID-19.

The postponement of public screening programmes (for example for breast and cervical cancer) was also widespread, reported by more than 50 per cent of countries. This was consistent with initial WHO recommendations to minimize non-urgent facility-based care whilst tackling the pandemic.

But the most common reasons for discontinuing or reducing services were cancellations of planned treatments, a decrease in public transport available and a lack of staff because health workers had been reassigned to support COVID19 services. In one in five countries (20 per cent) reporting disruptions, one of the main reasons for discontinuing services was a shortage of medicines, diagnostics and other technologies.

Unsurprisingly, there appears to be a correlation between levels of disruption to services for treating NCDs and the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak in a country. Services become increasingly disrupted as a country moves from sporadic cases to community transmission of the coronavirus.

Globally, two-thirds of countries reported that they had included NCD services in their national COVID-19 preparedness and response plans; 72 per cent of high-income countries reported inclusion compared to 42 per cent of low-income countries. Services to address cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease were the most frequently included. Dental services, rehabilitation and tobacco cessation activities were not as widely included in response plans according to country reports.

Seventeen percent of countries reporting have started to allocate additional funding from the government budget to include the provision of NCD services in their national COVID-19 plan.

Encouraging findings of the survey were that alternative strategies have been established in most countries to support the people at the highest risk to continue receiving treatment for NCDs. Among the countries reporting service disruptions, globally 58 per cent of countries are now using telemedicine (advice by telephone or online means) to replace in-person consultations; in low-income countries, this figure is 42 per cent. Triaging to determine priorities has also been widely used, in two-thirds of countries reporting.

Also encouraging is that more than 70 per cent of countries reported collecting data on the number of COVID-19 patients who also have an NCD.

Director of the Department of NCDs at WHO, Dr. Bente Mikkelsen, said: “It will be some time before we know the full extent of the impact of disruptions to health care during COVID-19 on people with NCDs.

“What we know now, however, is that not only are people with NCDs more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill with the virus, but many are unable to access the treatment they need to manage their illnesses. It is very important not only that care for people living with NCDs is included in national response and preparedness plans for COVID-19 – but that innovative ways are found to implement those plans. We must be ready to ‘build back better’- strengthening health services so that they are better equipped to prevent, diagnose and provide care for NCDs in the future, in any circumstances.”

According to the WHO, NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71 per cent of all deaths globally. Each year, 15 million people die from an NCD between the ages of 30 and 69 years; more than 85 per cent of these “premature” deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

You might have probably come across someone just scratching a part of the body. Or met someone with red patches or rashes all over. That could be as a result of skin reaction or infections.

It is quite common for some people to react to certain skin care products such as body creams, cosmetics, soaps, deodorants and antiperspirants, among others. The symptoms of allergy include, skin rashes, itchiness, swellings and pus.

To avoid this situation, health experts have advised that consumers take precautions when selecting products and pick only those with few ingredients, as they are unlikely to cause contact dermatitis.

The immediate past National Chairman of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Young Pharmacists Group (PSN-YPG), Olagunju Muyiwa, said the term used to refer to itchiness, redness or irritation of the skin is called dermatitis. When caused by something that touches the skin, it is called contact dermatitis.

Several factors, Muyiwa explained could trigger contact dermatitis through skin care products, such as creams, cosmetics, soaps, deodorants and antiperspirants. They include the type of fragrance used, preservatives and colourants among others. Some natural products, particularly, essential oils, are known to produce nice fragrance, but if used superfluously are likely to cause contact dermatitis, which lead to itchy and bumpy rash on the skin at the site of contact with the oil. “Most times, when people purchase new skin products, it’s probably based on recommendation or the intrinsic desire to try new things. All could go well with the new product and desired outcomes achieved. But there is tendency for the body not to tolerate some of these products. In this situation, the product causing the irritation should be identified, which can only be achieved by narrowing down the problematic product.

“If there is a mild reaction and the person has not started any new product, one product should be removed from the regimen at a time to see if the skin condition improves. It may take up to two to four weeks before a difference is observed. Overtime, such individuals may come to realise what kind of products they are sensitive to, either in the form of preservatives or fragrance and then know how to best avoid them.”

Trigger factors, he said, differ from one individual to another. “What may be acceptable to person A may pose irritation risk to person B and vice versa. So, it depends on compatibility of the skin with the ingredients of the cosmetic product. For safety sake, chronic administration of these products are discouraged. One of such example is a facial cleanser that makes your skin squeaky-clean. Over time, the cleanser may no longer “clean” the skin. Instead, it may compromise the exterior barrier of cells known as the stratum corneum.

“Some of the major components of bleaching creams are hydroquinone and alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs), among others, including citric acid. Prolonged administration of products containing these substances increases risk of photosensitivity and subsequent skin burn and in worst-case scenario, cancer.”

He, therefore, warned: “Be careful with cosmetic products with such preservatives as parabens, formaldehyde, formalin, imadazolidinyl urea, isothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, and quaternium-15, as they are likely to cause contact dermatitis.”

A Consultant Physician and Dermatologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Dr. Olufolakemi Cole-Adeife said some people may have sensitive skin or skin conditions, which could make them react to some skincare products.

Examples of such skin conditions are atopic dermatitis, rosacea and seborrhoeic dermatitis. Also, some people may be allergic to certain chemicals in some skin care products that other people use without any issue. This condition is called allergic contact dermatitis. “The symptoms of infections may include skin rashes, dryness or scaliness of the skin, itchiness, tingling or peppery sensations on the skin, as well as swelling, redness or darkening of the skin,” she explained, adding: “In severe cases, the skin may become weepy and develop sores. These symptoms are usually most pronounced after the use of the skincare product”.

Cole-Adeife explained that harmful cosmetic products could cause skin irritation and damage, which may initially be reversible or temporary, but can become irreversible or permanent, if the product is continuously used.

She said: “The regular use of antiseptic liquids and soaps can remove the normal bacteria flora, meant to stimulate healthy skin. This normal flora is protective and beneficial to the skin and its absence may result in some skin abnormalities like dryness. It can also expose the skin to colonisation by harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses resulting in skin, hair or nail infections. The use of skin lightening or bleaching agents can result in a myriad of complications such as thinning of the skin, stretch marks, skin discolouration like redness and hyperpigmentation, excessive hair growth, malodour, poor wound healing and a propensity to skin infections.

According to Cole-Adeife, mercury-containing creams and soaps could also result in kidney damage and ultimately kidney failure. “It is important to note that children are more vulnerable to harmful skin care products. This is because their skin is much thinner than adults’ and they are likely to absorb a higher amount of harmful chemicals from creams and soaps. Children should never be exposed to mercury-containing soaps. They should also not be exposed to any steroid containing cream without a doctor’s prescription and prescribed creams should not be used beyond the duration specified by the doctor.

“These steroid-containing creams should certainly never be mixed into the children’s daily body creams, as is being done by many mothers nowadays. This practice is very harmful to the child’s skin and whole body and should be strongly discouraged.”

The treatment of these skin infections she asserted, involves stopping the use of these products. “The skin can be quite forgiving, and when the products are stopped early enough, many of the complications are reversible. As treatment, a person is often advised to switch to plain, gentle skin care products and encouraged to eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Sunscreen creams to shield exposed skin from UV rays is often recommended.”

Chairperson of Public Relations, Young Pharmacists Group (YPG), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), Pharm. Funmbi Okoya, said: “Cosmetics can be classified as drugs, when they contain substances that have a physiological effect on the body. Therefore, antifungal creams, steroid-containing creams, antidandruff shampoo and Sun Protection Factor (SPF) creams, among others are cosmetic drugs. Cosmetics counterfeit, especially those containing drug substances, can cause a wide range of localised side effects, depending on where they are applied, as well as systemic side effects, depending on the quantity that enters the blood.

“Common local side effects include allergies. Harmful cosmetics are even more likely to cause severe side effects, depending on what dangerous substances are used and its respective quantities. To avoid harmful or counterfeit cosmetic products and their side effects, make sure to use only NAFDAC registered products purchased from a credible store. Also, consult your pharmacist or dermatologist before trying any new cosmetic products.”

Okoya advised that people should not bleach their skin, as skin whitening is the same as skin bleaching and skin lightening is often a milder form of skin bleaching. Meanwhile, studies have shown that skin toning has no serious side effects.”

A study in mice has found that scientists can switch off a gene responsible for an aggressive form of breast cancer. Silencing the gene not only shrinks tumors but also prevents their spread around the body.

Around one in eight females in the United States will develop breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

In 2019, doctors diagnosed an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer in females in the U.S., while around 41,760 individuals died from the disease.

Up to a fifth of breast cancers are a more aggressive form known as triple-negative breast cancer that is difficult to treat.

Unlike the majority of breast cancers, estrogen and progesterone do not fuel the growth of triple-negative tumors, so drugs, such as tamoxifen, that block these hormones are ineffective.

A molecule that switches off a particular gene in triple-negative tumors could be a promising alternative treatment, according to research at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA.

The scientists report their discovery in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

The effect of gene silencing

The research combined in vitro studies of cells growing in dishes with in vivo studies involving mice.

The team began by working with cultures of a triple-negative cancer cell line that originally came from a patient treated in 1973 at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.

The researchers compared the effects of switching off two known breast cancer genes, one called Rab27a and the other TRAF3IP2.

To deactivate or “silence” the genes, they targeted them with molecules of short hairpin RNAs called lentiviral-TRAF3IP2-shRNA. These are strands of RNA twisted back on themselves like a hairpin that prevent a specific gene from being read or “transcribed” to make a protein.

The researchers discovered that switching off TRAF3IP2 had a more disruptive effect on cancer-associated metabolic pathways in the cells than switching off Rab27a.

They confirmed this by switching off the genes individually in a mouse model of breast cancer.

Switching off Rab27a did slow down tumor growth in the mice, but a very small number of cancer cells spread, or “micrometastasized.”

When the researchers switched off TRAF3IP2, however, this not only suppressed new tumor growth but also prevented metastasis for up to 1 year. Better still, the treatment shrank existing tumors until they were undetectable.

“This exciting discovery has revealed that TRAF3IP2 can play a role as a novel therapeutic target in breast cancer treatment,” says Dr. Reza Izadpanah, assistant professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, who led the research.

Future studies ‘to further validate’ findings

The scientists are now seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start clinical trials as soon as possible.

They write that, first, they will need to confirm their results by transplanting breast cancer cells from human patients into mice, in a process known as ‘xenotransplantation.’

“A limitation of the present study is that we used a single breast cancer cell line to investigate potential roles of silencing Rab27a and TRAF3IP2 on tumor growth. Our future studies will involve the use of patient-derived xenotransplants to further validate these fundamental first in vivo and in vitro results.”

– Eckhard U. Alt et al.

Silencing TRAF3IP2 may turn out to be an effective treatment in several cancers and even heart failure.

The gene is known to activate various cellular pathways that promote inflammation, which plays an important role not only in cancer but also in heart failure.

In their breast cancer research, the team at Tulane School of Medicine collaborated with Dr. Chandrasekar Bysani at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, who identified the part played by TRAF3IP2 in promoting inflammation in heart failure.

Dr. Bysani also took part in recent research that found that switching off TRAF3IP2 could be an effective strategy for treating glioblastoma, a malignant type of brain cancer.