October 26th first ECERI Workshop on cancer at the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium : Environmental carcinogenesis, a focus on epigenetics
On October the 26th, 2012, the European Cancer and Environment Research Institute (ECERI) held its first International Workshop in the 'Albert the 1st' Room of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, entitled "Environmental carcinogenesis: a focus on epigenetics".
The newly created ECERI (headquartered in Brussels, chaired by Prof. D. Belpomme, oncologist in Paris) is an independant non-profit network, association of several European research centers aiming at advancing research on the environmental causes of cancer and on the resulting need for primary prevention methods. Professors Janos Fruhling and Luc Montagnier co-chair the Scientific Committee of ECERI, which includes internationally recognized scientific personalities. Although ECERI is focused primarily on cancer, it does not ignore other chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, autism and Alzheimer's disease (the latter has recently been shown to ne caused by environmental factors-pointed out by Prof. Belpomme in his introductory lecture at the Workshop.
Prof. Belpomme was one of the first scientist in Europe to promote the concept of environmental carcinogenesis. In recent decades, in the vast majority of countries, the incidence of cancer has increased. The traditional cancer risk factors of aging populations and/or of lifestyle-related cancer risk factors, such as smoking, alcoholism, dietary imbalances, sedentary lifestyle, etc.. do not, alone account for that increase. So physical, chemical and biological degradation of our environment - in particular the presence of many carcinogenic, mutagenic and / or toxic for reproduction pollutants (CMR) must be considered. Professor Belpomme along with Professor Montagnier had already delivered such a message in 2005, at the Royal Begium Academy of Medicine.
Since then progress in molecular biology--particularly epigenetics--enable us to understand the role of the environment in carcinogenensis (and other diseases).