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Symposium on “Rethinking Cancer” features Canadian scientific leaders

August 24, 2015

The content in this release is offered for reprint, with attribution to Prevent Cancer Now

The Canadian-led “Halifax Project,” including 174 scientists from 26 countries, is rocking scientific approaches to causes of cancer with its series published in the peer-reviewed journal, Carcinogenesis.

“Rethinking Cancer” will be under the microscope at a symposium of the US National Institute of Environmental Health and Science, on Tuesday August 25th, 2015.

Cancer is the culmination of many biological events, over extended periods of time, yet scientists and regulators generally focus on single substances or exposures that cause cancer – “complete carcinogens.”

When contacted, Halifax Project leader Dr. Michael Gilbertson posed the question of whether humankind is experiencing an unexplained global pandemic of cancers that is largely linked to low-dose exposures to mixtures of chemicals in the environment.

“We need to rethink the old paradigm of Paracelsus, that assumes that only the dose makes the poison, and start using new methods to examine the processes of carcinogenesis caused by multiple subtle exposures.”

The aim is to prevent more cancers (and other chronic diseases, associated with mutual biological pathways), using broader approaches.

The highly funded Canadian institutions focusing on cancer, such as the Canadian Cancer Society, Health Canada, Environment Canada, the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) and CAREX Canada (working to identify Canadians’ exposures to carcinogens) currently maintain a “complete carcinogen” approach to cancer prevention.

Prevent Cancer Now supports a broader Halifax Project style approach. On this basis we aim to provide sound cancer prevention advice, and to collaborate with others working in this area to translate knowledge into public policy.

Prevent Cancer Now is a Canadian national civil society organization including scientists, health professionals and citizens working to stop cancer before it starts, through education and advocacy to eliminate preventable causes of cancer.


For further information please contact:

Meg Sears, PhD
Chair and science advisor, Prevent Cancer Now