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Biomolecules 2017, 7(3), 61; doi:10.3390/biom7030061

Alcohol and Cancer: Mechanisms and Therapies

Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Natalia Osna and Kusum Kharbanda
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Multi-Organ Alcohol-Related Damage: Mechanisms and Treatment)
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Abstract

Several scientific and clinical studies have shown an association between chronic alcohol consumption and the occurrence of cancer in humans. The mechanism for alcohol-induced carcinogenesis has not been fully understood, although plausible events include genotoxic effects of acetaldehyde, cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1)-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species, aberrant metabolism of folate and retinoids, increased estrogen, and genetic polymorphisms. Here, we summarize the impact of alcohol drinking on the risk of cancer development and potential underlying molecular mechanisms. The interactions between alcohol abuse, anti-tumor immune response, tumor growth, and metastasis are complex. However, multiple studies have linked the immunosuppressive effects of alcohol with tumor progression and metastasis. The influence of alcohol on the host immune system and the development of possible effective immunotherapy for cancer in alcoholics are also discussed here. The conclusive biological effects of alcohol on tumor progression and malignancy have not been investigated extensively using an animal model that mimics the human disease. This review provides insights into cancer pathogenesis in alcoholics, alcohol and immune interactions in different cancers, and scope and future of targeted immunotherapeutic modalities in patients with alcohol abuse. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; metabolism; cancer risk; animal models; immunosuppression; immunotherapy alcohol; metabolism; cancer risk; animal models; immunosuppression; immunotherapy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ratna, A.; Mandrekar, P. Alcohol and Cancer: Mechanisms and Therapies. Biomolecules 2017, 7, 61.

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