Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Transplacental Carcinogenesis

  • Mark Steven Miller
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7079-2



Transplacental carcinogenesis is a subfield of cancer research that looks at the effects of exposure of the fetus to chemical and physical agents that may cause cancer. The best known example of a chemical administered during pregnancy that resulted in tumors in the children of the treated mothers is diethylstilbestrol (DES). Young women of mothers who were treated during pregnancy with DES exhibited an increased incidence of vaginal cancer (Miyagawa et al. 2011). The best known example of a physical agent that resulted in cancer in the offspring of exposed mothers is radiation. Studies from the survivors of the atomic bomb blasts in Japan showed that exposure of the fetus to radiation caused increased incidences of cancer at several organ sites (Pierce and Preston 2000).


Types of Transplacental Carcinogens

Studies conducted in the field of transplacental carcinogenesis...


Physical Agent Atomic Bomb Pregnant Mother Environmental Toxin Nonpolar Compound 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Alexander FE, Patheal SL, Biondi A, Brandalise S, Cabrera ME, Chan LC, Chen Z, Cimino G, Cordoba JC, Gu LJ, Hussein H, Ishii E, Kamel AM, Labra S, Magalhaes IQ, Mizutani S, Petridou E, de Oliveira MP, Yuen P, Wiemels JL, Greaves MF (2001) Transplacental chemical exposure and risk of infant leukemia with MLL gene fusion. Cancer Res 61:2542–2546PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson LM, Diwan BA, Fear NT, Roman E (2000) Critical windows of exposure for children’s health: cancer in human epidemiological studies and neoplasms in experimental animal models. Environ Health Perspect 108(Suppl 3):573–594CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Miller MS (2004) Transplacental lung carcinogenesis: molecular mechanisms and pathogenesis. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 198:95–110CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Miyagawa S, Sato M, Iguchi T (2011) Molecular mechanisms of induction of persistent changes by estrogenic chemicals on female reproductive tracts and external genitalia. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 127:51–57CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Pierce DA, Preston DL (2000) Radiation-related cancer risks at low doses among atomic bomb survivors. Radiat Res 154:178–186CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Rice JM (1979) Perinatal period and pregnancy: intervals of high risk for chemical carcinogens. Environ Health Perspect 29:23–27CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Shorey LE, Castro DJ, Baird WM, Siddens LK, Lohr CV, Matzke MM, Waters KM, Corley RA, Williams DE (2011) Transplacental carcinogenesis with dibenzo[def,p]chrysene (DBC): timing of maternal exposures determines target tissue response in offspring. Cancer LettGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cancer Biology, Comprehensive Cancer CenterWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA