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Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2012 Jul;28(7 Suppl):S22-7. doi: 10.1016/j.kjms.2012.05.006. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

Possible mechanism of phthalates-induced tumorigenesis.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


Phthalates--substances used in the manufacture of plastics--are considered as possible human carcinogens and tumor-promoting agents. The worldwide annual production of plastics surpassed 300 million tons in 2010. Plastics are an indispensable material in modern society, and many products manufactured from plastics are a boon to public health; however, plastics also pose health risks. Animal studies have indicated that phthalates are carcinogenic, but human epidemiological data confirming this carcinogenicity in humans are limited. The activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα), which has been observed in rodent carcinogenesis, has not been observed in humans. Here, we review the hypothesis that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and its downstream signaling cascade promote phthalate-induced tumorigenesis.

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