Transplacental Carcinogenesis: Role of Chemicals, Radiation and Viruses

  • Orna Diav-Citrin
  • Asher Ornoy
  • Richard K. Miller


During the early 1960s, experimentalists were becoming more concerned about the unique sensitivity of the conceptus to induction of cancer following in utero exposure.1,2 Reports appeared that linked in utero exposure to ethylnitrosourea (ENU) and the induction of brain tumors, schwanoma and gliomas in adult rat offspring, lung tumors in mice and Wilms (renal) tumors in opossum pups.3,4,5 Rice and associates’ demonstrated that ENU given during pregnancy could result in the induction of choriocarcinoma in the mother Patas monkey. These were among the first reports of chemical induction of tumors in both offspring and mothers following in utero exposure. Of special note is that ENU has a biological half-life in the body of approximately 8–10 minutes. These examples of the unique sensitivity of the unborn to not only structural anomalies but also tumorigenesis has further raised interest in understanding the malleability of the developing organism in response to therapeutic, occupational and environmental exposures.


Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Childhood Cancer Prenatal Exposure Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Female Reproductive Tract 
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.


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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Orna Diav-Citrin
  • Asher Ornoy
  • Richard K. Miller

There are no affiliations available

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