This is in response to the "industry news" post from a couple of days ago. Admittedly, I haven't read the article inCancer from January 2004 (nor will I, most likely), but I'm always a little skeptical when stuff like this shows up in the lay media, especially months after initial publication
"Rather than affecting the cancer directly, alcohol seems to work by promoting the growth of blood vessels that feed the tumor, according to a report in the medical journal Cancer...Further testing showed that alcohol increased the growth of blood vessel cells, but not tumor cells themselves, the researchers note. "
This is bad if the issue involved is cancer; could be good if the tissue involved is failing heart muscle that needs more blood flow. Furthermore, this actually suggests to me that for alcohol to be a factor, the cancer must already be present., ie, caused by something else.
"The findings are based on tests conducted in chick embryos harboring human cancer cells. Some of the embryos were exposed to alcohol, while others were exposed to a mild saline solution."
Extrapolating chick embryo alcohol bathing to human alcohol consumption via mouth requires quite a few leaps of faith that the process is exactly the same. Interesting, yes; conclusive? Hardly.
" 'Although mounting epidemiologic evidence has indicated that alcoholic beverage consumption is a well-established risk factor for human (cancers), experimental studies have provided less than convincing evidence to support" this association, the investigators point out. "
There is ASSOCIATION, and there is CAUSATION. Two different things. Epidemiologic association does not mean causation. If I'm not mistaken, a few decades ago, there was a recognized epidemiologic association with gambling and lung cancer. Turns out that smoking was probably the real cause, and gamblers just tended to have a higher smoking rate than the general population.
" 'To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to show" in a living organism that alcohol increases tumor size and the number of blood vessels, they add. "
So after decades of research, this is the best we've got in term of damning data? How about some equal press time for all the negative studies that preceded it?
This type of thing always makes me wonder about an anti-alcohol agenda on the part of the researchers and/or reporter. As for me, I'll ontinue to enjoy my bourbon without fretting over the neoplastic implications one bit.