Carcinogenetic mechanisms of endocrine disruptors in female cancers (Review)

Alberto Mantovani, Carla Cavaliere, Gaetano Facchini, Amalia Luce, P. Sperlongano, Michele Caraglia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are pollutants that alter the endocrine system and are involved in carcinogenesis. EDs have multiple and complex levels of action. They can affect the synthesis, release and transport of natural hormones. In target tissues, EDs can reduce or increase the effects of natural hormones on their receptors and change signaling cascades. When ED exposure happens at critical periods of life, from embryo to puberty, they can act at doses considered safe for an adult. Furthermore, their epigenetic effects can also influence the cancer risk of future generations. The cancer mechanisms of known EDs are hereby reviewed, There are thousands of newly introduced substances whose potential endocrinedisrupting and cancer effects are completely unknown. Although there are still gaps in our knowledge, these data support the urgent need for health and environmental policies aimed at protecting the public and in particular, the developing fetus and women of reproductive age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-612
Number of pages10
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Bisphenol a
  • Dioxin
  • Endocrine disruptor
  • Female cancer
  • Heavy metal
  • Pesticide
  • Phthalate
  • Phytoestrogen carcinogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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