The use of chemical compounds has beneficial effects on society in a number of ways but these benefits are offset by certain disadvantages, notably the toxic side effects of the chemical compounds, ranging from instant death to a gradual process of chemical carcinogenesis. Herein, we review the historical aspects of “chemical carcinogenesis” to understand how various studies are carried out and how the chemical substances are causing carcinogenesis, who were dedicated to establishing the association between chemical substances and carcinoma. Cancer has been mentioned by Hippocrates as “karkinos.” Over the years, many researchers starting from Sir Percivall Pott who related occupational exposure to cancer in chimney sweeps, Yamagiwa and Ichikawa, Kennaway, Berenblum and Shubik, Foulds, Rehn, and many others have done a lot of research on chemical carcinogenesis. Today, there is sufficient evidence that exposure to chemical agents is the root cause for most human cancers which theoretically implies that most human cancers are preventable by appropriate management of the human environment. In this article, we are exploring the historical perspective of chemical carcinogenesis.
Miller EC, Miller JA. Mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis. Cancer 1981;47:1055–1064. DOI: 10.1002/1097-0142(19810301)47:5+<1055::aid-cncr2820471302>3.0.co;2-3.
Vainio H, Heseltine E, Wilbourn J. Priorities for Future IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Environmental health perspectives. 1994;102(6-7):590-1.
Gutiérrez JB, Salsamendi AL. Fundamientosde ciênciatoxicológica. Madrid: Diaz de Santos, 2001, pp. 155–177.
Oliveira PA, Colaço A, Chaves R, et al. Chemical carcinogenesis. Ann Braz Acad Sci 2007;79(4):593–616. Available at: https://www.scielo.br/j/aabc/a/KLmQ4TC7LLXg8tL9YrrmkxP/?lang=en&format=pdf
Kumar V, Cotran RS, Robbins SL. Basic pathology. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1997, pp. 381–323.
Loeb LA, Harris CC. Advances in chemical carcinogenesis: a historical review and prospective. Cancer Res 2008;68(17):6863–6872. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-2852.
Hayes RB. Genetic susceptibility and occupational cancer. Med Lav 1995;86: 206–213. Available at: https://europepmc.org/article/med/7565279
Cohen SM, Ellwein LB. Genetic errors, cell proliferation, and carcinogenesis. Cancer Res 1991;51:6493–6505. Available at: https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/canres/51/24/6493.full.pdf
Gomes-carneiro MR, Ribeiro-pinto LF, Paumgartten FJ. Environmental risk factors for gastric cancer: the toxicologist's standpoint. Cad SaúdePública 1997;13(Suppl):27–38. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10886922/
Garner RC. The role of DNA adducts in chemical carcinogenesis. Mutat Res 1998;402:67–75. DOI: 10.1016/s0027-5107(97)00283-2.
Dybdahl M, Frentz G. Low DNA repair is a risk factor in skin carcinogenesis: a study of basal cell carcinoma in psoriasis patients. Mutat Res 1999;433:15–22. DOI: 10.1016/s0921-8777(98)00057-3.
Huff J. Chemicals associated with tumours of the kidney, urinary bladder and thyroid gland in laboratory rodents from US National Toxicology Program/National Cancer Institute bioassays for carcinogenicity. IARC Sci Publ 2000;147:211–225. Available at: https://hero.epa.gov/hero/index.cfm/reference/details/reference_id/732741
Bertram JS. The molecular biology of cancer. Mol Aspects Med 2001;21:167–223. DOI: 10.1016/s0098-2997(00)00007-8.
Luch A. Nature and nurture – lessons from chemical carcinogenesis. Nat Rev Cancer 2005;15:113–125. DOI: 10.1038/nrc1546.
Weinstein IB. Current concepts on mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis. Bull N Y Acad Med 1978;54(4):366–381. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1807504/
Toth B. Species susceptibilities to chemical carcinogenes: a critical appraisal of the roles of genetic and viral agents. In Vivo 2001;15: 467–478. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11887331/
Beremblum I, Shubik P. The role of croton oil applications, associated with a single painting of a carcinogen, in tumor induction of the mouse's skin. Br J Cancer 1947;1:379–382. DOI: 10.1038/bjc.1947.35.
Miller EC, Miller JA. In vivo combinations between carcinogens and tissue constituents and their possible role in carcinogenesis. Cancer Res 1952;12:547–556. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14945044/
Foulds L. The experimental study of tumor progression: a review. Cancer Res 1954;14:327–339. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/13160960/
Pott, P. Chirurgical observations relative to the cataract. The polypus of the nose, the cancer of the scrotum, the different kinds of ruptures, and the mortification of the toes and feet. London: Hawes, W. Clarke, and R. Collins, 1775, pp. 60–68.
Rehn, L. Blasengeschwulste be: Fuchsin-arbeitern. Arch Klin Chir 1895;50:588–600. Available at: https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/10016247140/
Vajdic CM, McDonald SP, McCredie MR, et al. Radiation-induced primary liver tumors in ‘thorotrast patients’. Recent Results Cancer Res 1986;100:16–22. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3738160/
Creech J, Johnson M. Angiosarcoma of liver in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride. J Occup Med 936;16:150–151. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/4856325/
Kennaway EL, Hieger I. Carcinogenic substances and their fluorescence spectra. Br Med J 1930;1(3622):1044. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.1.3622.1044.
Kinosita, R. Research on the carcinogenesis of the various chemical substances. Gann 1938;30:423–426.
Yoshida T. U ber die serienweiseVerfolgung der Vernderungen der Leber der experimentel lenHepatomerzeugungdurcho-aminoazotuol. Trans Jpn Pathol Soc 1933;933:636–638.
Hueper WC, Wiley FH, Wolfe HD. Experimental production of bladder tumors in dogs by administration of beta-naphthylamine. J Ind Hyg Toxicol 1938;20:46–84.
Cohen SM, Arnold LL. Chemical carcinogenesis. Toxicol Sci 2010;120(S1):S76–S92. DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfq365.