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Chapter 20

Interdisciplinary Collaboration between Environmental Health and Clinical Experts on Cancers and Infertility Associated with Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are multi-target agents, which may cause chronic diseases, infertility and different cancer types; the fact that EDCs are risk factors for complex multifactorial diseases calls for multidisciplinary interaction. In particular, this chapter is focused on collaboration of specialists with different expertise in the investigation and prevention of cancer and infertility, two main EDC-related outcomes for which the incidences are constantly increasing, despite the efforts and technological developments of curative medicine. Steroid hormones are recognized as EDCs’ major targets: as estrogen and testosterone are crucial in all biological processes thus also in different disease etiologies, the biological mechanisms affected by EDCs are very complex and demand the support of endocrinological and toxicological expertise for selection of biomarkers, as well as for diagnostics and secondary and tertiary prevention in exposed subjects or communities. Experts in environmental or occupational health perform biomonitoring of subjects exposed environmentally or occupationally to EDCs. Clinicians specialized in endocrinology, oncology, diabetes or infertility anecdotally or never communicate with environmental or occupational health experts and vice versa. Overall, non-communicating groups have diminished capacity to assess and prevent EDC-related health risks. Examples of programs and projects in which environmental health and clinical expertise are joined with common aim and success are included. Bioinformatics, systems biology and deep data analysis are powerful tools, which should be developed in a way that different experts may use them for better exploitation of current and future knowledge and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Publication details

Print publication date
08 Dec 2020
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN

From the book series:
Issues in Toxicology