Article of Interest: How Zip Code Is Tied to Genomic Code

Our team at the Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

Breast cancer researcher aims to uncover how ‘zip code is tied to genomic code’” from Healio via HemOnctoday.

The article contains an interview with Dr. Neha Goel of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Dr. Goel explains she aims to better understand how where people live can impact breast cancer outcomes.

Our grant, titled “Built Environment to Tumor Microenvironment: Disparities and Aggressive Breast Cancer by Neighborhoods Disadvantage,” builds off our discovery that compared with women residing in advantaged neighborhoods, women living in disadvantaged neighborhoods — defined as higher rates of poverty, unemployment and lower education — are more likely to have aggressive breast cancers, independent of known risk-factors associated with aggressive tumor biology.
The goal of our research with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation grant is to understand how and specifically what factors associated with where one lives “get under the skin” to impact the tumor microenvironment and, ultimately, survival. We have lab studies that will focus on looking at the tumor microenvironment and specific drivers that might be correlated with disadvantaged neighborhoods. On the patient level, we have surveys that patients can answer with respect to the neighborhood adversity that they face.

This issue is important for people who suffer from chemical intolerance (CI), said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

How can you find out if you are chemically intolerant?

Answer these three questions from Hoffman TILT’s Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!