Genetic Markers in DES Exposed Daughters

A Pilot Study, 2015

In May 2014, researchers at the National Cancer Institute and Boston University began a small pilot study that is attempting to understand how prenatal DES exposure affects a person’s biology and influences health conditions.

The researchers are asking women (both DES exposed and unexposed) in the greater Boston area to provide a small blood sample at Boston University’s General Clinical Research Center.

The samples will be used to compare levels of hormones between exposed and unexposed women and to find out if there are any DES-related epigenetic changes in cells. Epigenetic changes occur in the cells during fetal development. These changes can turn genes on or off. So far, 47 women have provided samples and we are truly grateful for their help. If this pilot study is successful we hope to study this question in a larger group of women.

The findings may have important implications for the ways in which hormonal exposures in the fetus influence human health in later life.

Pilot Study Completed, 2018

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute and Boston University are currently studying whether genetic markers and reproductive hormone concentrations differ between women who were and were not prenatally exposed to DES. In a small pilot study of 60 women (40 who were exposed to DES and 20 who were not) blood samples were drawn from women participating in our long-term DES Follow-up Study of the health effects of DES exposure.

The samples were sent to a laboratory for measurements.

The findings of this pilot study may have profound implications for the ways in which endocrine disruption (chemicals that interfere with normal hormone function) in the fetus influences human health in later life.



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