Kidney cancer: gene damage caused by aristolochic acids

Kidney cancer: gene damage caused by aristolochic acids

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Kidney cancer: gene damage caused by aristolochic acids

Aristolochia acid from Aristolochia clematitis (common Easter luke) can apparently trigger kidney cancer. This is shown by a study from Romania. The subjects had many clear cell carcinomas that are characteristic of aristolochic acid.

Clear cell carcinoma is increasing rapidly, especially in Central Europe, without the reasons for this being known. Researchers from the International Cancer Genome Consortium in Montreal have now come across a possible trigger.

They examined genomes in 94 clear cell carcinomas of patients from the Czech Republic, Romania, Russia and Great Britain. The researchers were looking for mutations that are typical of cancer. They discovered a peculiarity in the Romanian patients: In twelve of fourteen patients, the genome showed an unexpectedly high frequency of transversions of the nucleotide pairs from A-T to T-A, which is associated with exposure to aristolochic acid. The Easter luke is widespread throughout the Balkans and can easily get into the food cycle. This contamination is already held responsible for the so-called Balkan nephropathy. The researchers are now examining additional tumors to confirm their suspicions. Read more about it here. (pm)

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