Nov 28, 2013

Autism's cancer connection: the anti-proliferation hypothesis and why it may matter

Medical Hypotheses
Charles S Ward

Abstract

Autism remains an idiopathic disorder in 90% of cases. Recent prevalence, heritability, and genetic studies are suggestive that epigenetic and, therefore, environmental factors are important in autism pathogenesis. Among the environmental factors, only some uncommon viral infections and certain drugs have been conclusively linked to autism causation. Thalidomide, valproate, terbutaline and, most recently, antidepressants are the main drugs reported to elevate autism risk. This article discusses a phenomenal relationship between the drugs reported to elevate autism risk and the antiproliferative effects of the same drugs and/or analogs of the drugs in cancer cells. Cancer treatment has entered a new era-epigenetic therapy. In cancer cell lines, thalidomide is antiangiogenic and antiproliferative via suppression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and downstream effects on the nuclear factor (NFκB) cascade. Valproate shares similar mechanisms with thalidomide, but is best known in cancer therapy for its epigenetic effects as a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Terbutaline, a beta-adrenergic agonist, acts via adenylyl cyclase and cAMP-PKA signal transduction. Current cancer therapy aims to exploit this epigenetic pathway by develo...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Histamine Measurement
Embryo
Cell Cycle Progression
HDAC2 gene
Simple Lobule of Cerebellum
Tumor Cells, Uncertain Whether Benign or Malignant
Pathogenic Aspects
Biochemical Pathway
Immune System
MECP2 wt Allele

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