Role of environmental chemicals, processed food derivatives, and nutrients in the induction of carcinogenesis

L. Persano, D. Zagoura, J. Louisse, F. Pistollato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years it has been hypothesized that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the actual driving force of tumor formation, highlighting the need to specifically target CSCs to successfully eradicate cancer growth and recurrence. Particularly, the deregulation of physiological signaling pathways controlling stem cell proliferation, self-renewal, differentiation, and metabolism is currently considered as one of the leading determinants of cancer formation. Given their peculiar, slow-dividing phenotype and their ability to respond to multiple microenvironmental stimuli, stem cells appear to be more susceptible to genetic and epigenetic carcinogens, possibly undergoing mutations resulting in tumor formation. In particular, some animal-derived bioactive nutrients and metabolites known to affect the hormonal milieu, and also chemicals derived from food processing and cooking, have been described as possible carcinogenic factors. Here, we review most recent literature in this field, highlighting how some environmental toxicants, some specific nutrients and their secondary products can induce carcinogenesis, possibly impacting stem cells and their niches, thus causing tumor growth
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2337-2352
JournalStem cells and development
Volume24
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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