4 years ago
4 December, 2019
Breast Cancer UK is pleased to announce the award of a new research grant to Dr Elisabete Silva. Dr Silva will examine the impact of complex mixtures of endocrine disrupting chemicals and a high saturated fat diet on the early stages of breast cancer. The research will use an exciting new three-dimensional breast cancer model called “Breast-on-chip”.
Dr Silva and colleagues Drs Ruth MacKay, Sibylle Ermler and Emmanouil Karteris have been awarded £43,360 to support the project. It will begin in January 2020 and be carried out at Brunel University London.
Lifestyle factors and environmental contaminants, including endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), play a role in breast cancer development. But human studies linking EDCs to cancer are often inconclusive. This is mainly because EDCs are studied individually and at concentrations that don’t match our day-to-day exposure. We are exposed to a cocktail of chemicals, which in combination, may have enhanced harmful effects.
Several studies support a link between a high-fat diet and breast cancer, although this link is still debated, as what lies behind this effect is unclear. A high-fat diet may not seriously contribute to breast cancer, but EDCs in our bodies may enhance its effect. The current project aims to address this knowledge gap. It will investigate the impact of complex mixtures of endocrine disrupting chemicals and saturated fats (as found in a high-fat diet) on breast tissue development and growth and initiation of breast cancer.
Dr Silva’s research will use an innovative Breast-on-Chip methodology developed at Brunel University. It involves breast cells grown in three-dimensional culture in vitro. Different breast cell types are cultured in combination and subjected to a constant flow of media and nutrients designed to mimic the physical environment of breast tissue. This approach provides a more robust and representative alternative to current in vitro and in vivo methods.
The three most common fatty acids (lauric, palmitic and steric acids) and EDCs will be tested at concentrations that have been measured previously in human breast tissue.
The research aims to understand the impact of combinations of chemical exposures and lifestyle factors on the early stages of breast carcinogenesis. This will provide a framework for further public information and practical advice on reducing exposure to factors contributing to breast cancer risk.
Dr Silva’s research project, “Multifactorial impacts on early breast carcinogenesis – assessing the combined effects of preventable factors on breast cancer using a novel Organ-On-a-Chip Platform”, will begin in January 2020.
15 February 2024
Breast Cancer UK (BCUK) is pleased to welcome our new Ambassador, Michelle Ogundehin. Michelle has been our fantastic supporter over the years, including blog writing and supporting various campaigns we...Read full story
16 June 2022
Breast Cancer UK joined hundreds of charities at a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the remarkable difference they make in their communities. His Royal Highness, The...Read full story
13 June 2022
In May our Head of Science, Margaret Wexler, spoke at a parliamentary event on pesticides. Organised by The Pesticide Collaboration and RSPB, and hosted by Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth,...Read full story
A £10 donation today can help fund our PHD studentships to carry out world-class animal free research into the causes of breast cancer.
A donation of £30 can help fund our Prevention Hub so your loved ones can learn how to reduce their risk.
Your donation of £50 can fund our animal free research and educational programmes to prevent breast cancer for future generations.
Just want to help in some way? donate an amount that feels right for you
New easy way for you to donate to Breast Cancer UK:
Donate £5 please text to 70970