Exposure to BPA substitute, BPS, multiplies breast cancer cells

April 2, 2017, The Endocrine Society
Micrograph showing a lymph node invaded by ductal breast carcinoma, with extension of the tumour beyond the lymph node. Credit: Nephron/Wikipedia

Bisphenol S (BPS), a substitute for the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in the plastic industry, shows the potential for increasing the aggressiveness of breast cancer through its behavior as an endocrine-disrupting chemical, a new study finds. The results, which tested BPS in human breast cancer cells, will be presented Saturday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

BPS is found in polycarbonate hard plastics, currency bills and thermal paper receipts as well as many products touted to be free of BPA, a known endocrine-disrupting chemical suspected of having multiple possible health risks.

"Despite hopes for a safer alternative to BPA, studies have shown BPS to exhibit similar estrogen-mimicking behavior to BPA," said the study's principal investigator, Sumi Dinda, Ph.D., associate professor at Oakland University School of Health Sciences, Rochester, Mich.

Their study confirmed that BPS acts like estrogen in , Dinda said, adding, "So far, BPS seems to be a potent endocrine disruptor."

He and his colleagues studied the effects of BPS on -alpha and the BRCA1 gene. Most breast cancers are estrogen receptor positive, and, according to the National Cancer Institute, 55 to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful mutation in the BRCA1 gene will develop breast cancer.

Using two commercially available breast cancer cell lines obtained from women with estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer, the research team exposed the cancer cells to varying strengths of BPS or to an inactive substance as a control.

The investigators also treated the breast cancer cells with estradiol (estrogen) and found that BPS acted like estrogen in multiplying breast cancer cells, Dinda said. Compared with the control, BPS heightened the protein expression in estrogen receptor and BRCA1 after 24 hours, as did estrogen. After a six-day treatment with BPS, the breast cancer cells in both cell lines reportedly increased in number by 12 percent at the lowest dose (4 micromolars) and by 60 percent at 8 micromolars.

The research team then blocked the BPS-induced proliferation of breast cancer cells by treating the cells with anti-estrogen drugs, which are used to block estrogen's action onto estrogen binding proteins (estrogen receptors) in breast cancer cells.

Dinda said their findings suggest that BPS may cause breast cancer to become more aggressive. Although further study of BPS in is needed for confirmation, he suggested that "if a woman has a mutated BRAC1 gene and uses products containing BPS, her risk for developing may increase further."

Co-author Katie Aleck, a research assistant at Oakland University, will present the study results at the meeting.

Explore further: Prevalence of estrogen receptor mutations in patients with metastatic breast cancer

Related Stories

Prevalence of estrogen receptor mutations in patients with metastatic breast cancer

August 11, 2016
A new study published online by JAMA Oncology examines the prevalence and significance of estrogen receptor mutations in patients with metastatic breast cancer.

New insights into mechanisms of breast cancer development and resistance to therapy

January 9, 2017
Why does breast cancer develop and how come certain patients are resistant to established therapies? Researchers from the University of Basel have gained new insights into the molecular processes in breast tissue. They identified ...

Tamoxifen resistance linked to high estrogen levels in utero

September 8, 2016
An animal study suggests that resistance to tamoxifen therapy in some estrogen receptor positive breast cancers may originate from in utero exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals. The study provides a new path forward ...

Hops extract studied to prevent breast cancer

July 11, 2016
An enriched hops extract activates a chemical pathway in cells that could help prevent breast cancer, according to new laboratory findings from the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research at the University ...

Possible new weapon found for fighting some types of breast cancer

June 23, 2014
Researchers believe they have discovered one reason why some women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer may respond poorly or only temporarily to estrogen-blocking drugs such as tamoxifen. Results of a new study, ...

Hops could help reduce breast cancer risk

June 22, 2016
Hops, the flower cones used in beer-making, are also found in dietary supplements designed to help treat post-menopausal symptoms and other conditions. Scientists are now investigating whether an extract from the plant could ...

Recommended for you

Research shows possible new target for immunotherapy for solid tumors

April 24, 2018
Research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) reveals a potential new target to help T cells (white blood cells) infiltrate certain solid tumors.

Changes in breast tissue increase cancer risk for older women

April 24, 2018
Researchers in Norway, Switzerland, and the United States have identified age-related differences in breast tissue that contribute to older women's increased risk of developing breast cancer. The findings, published April ...

Targeting molecules called miR-200s and ADAR2 could prevent tumor metastasis in patients with colorectal cancer

April 24, 2018
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide and the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The main cause of death in patients with colorectal cancer is liver metastasis, with nearly 70% of patients ...

Experimental arthritis drug prevents stem cell transplant complication

April 24, 2018
An investigational drug in clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis prevents a common, life-threatening side effect of stem cell transplants, new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows. ...

Scientists develop a new model for glioblastoma using gene-edited organoids

April 24, 2018
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an incredibly deadly brain cancer and presents a serious black box challenge. It's virtually impossible to observe how these tumors operate in their natural environment and animal models don't ...

Technology used to map Mars now measuring effect of treatment on tumours

April 24, 2018
A machine learning approach for assessing images of the craters and dunes of Mars, which was developed at The University of Manchester, has now been adapted to help scientists measure the effects of treatments on tumours.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (2) Apr 02, 2017
So ... these companies manufacturing plastic bottles and other items with BPA, after all the negative media coverage they received, simply replaced one endocrine disruptor with another, extremely similar endocrine disruptor, and proudly proclaim "BPA FREE!" on their product labels?

Where's the regulation? Is there any at all? Any testing? Any concern whatsoever for the public?

Doesn't seem like it.

not rated yet Apr 02, 2017
Bisphenol-S and Bisphenol-A or BPS and its discredited cousin BPA were more exactingly once called ' n-Sulfur bis-Phenol' and maybe 'n-Arsenic bis-Phenol' by its creators and its Internationa Union of Chemistry nomenclature for naming aromatic organic covalent compounds. As such they AND their use bear striking resemblance of sorts to Fentanyl and IT's multinefarious incarnations. Fentanyl, or the drug that killed Michael Jackson, was known by the medical pros and by cops long before it took Jackson. It was smuggled to the streets, promptly becoming an addictive and flexible recreational dope for junkies. Retired Los Angeles cop Joseph Wambaugh wrote of it in his books about crime in L.A. Seems as every time the California Assembly got to make it illegal, the crooks' chemists altered the molecule in some small way to 'make it legal again', just like BP...A morphed to BP-S. Problem could be bis-Phenol, period! No matter what the 'letter'!!
1 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2017
So maybe it's a bad idea to inject BPS and BPA into cancer cells. Or eat it.

So far no study has shown an increase in cancer caused by simply coming into contact with BPA or BPS, or drinking from BPA bottles. All the studies fed high doses of BPA to lab animals or put BPA / BPS directly in contact with cancer cells; something that would never happen in the real world...unless you have a taste for plastic and include it as a basic part of your diet or shoot up with it get to high on BPA. And an FDA study in 2014 concluded that rats fed low doses of BPA didn't have increased rates of cancer.

BPA is essentially harmless, used the way it is intended. Just don't eat a lot of it or inject it. As if you would.
not rated yet Apr 04, 2017
According to Wikipedia:

The CDC had found bisphenol A in the urine of 95% of adults sampled in 1988–1994[173] and in 93% of children and adults tested in 2003–04.[174] The USEPA Reference Dose (RfD) for BPA is 50 µg/kg/day which is not enforceable but is the recommended safe level of exposure. The most sensitive animal studies show effects at much lower doses,[93][108] and several studies of children, who tend to have the highest levels, have found levels over the EPA's suggested safe limit figure.[175]
not rated yet Apr 04, 2017
It leaks:

Bisphenol A is leached from the lining of food and beverage cans where it is used as an ingredient in the plastic used to protect the food from direct contact with the can.[168] It is especially likely to leach from plastics when they are cleaned with harsh detergents or when they contain acidic or high-temperature liquids.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.