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(743i) Degrading the Toxic Chemicals Deposited in the Lungs

David, A., Auburn University
Sangle, P., Auburn University
Choi, Y. S., Auburn University

Lung cancer is a significant public health and economic burden in the United States. This is the most diagnosed cancer in both men and women. Lung cancer is also the leading cause of cancer death in the country. It is estimated that approximately $9.6 billion are spent in the country on lung cancer treatment alone. Lung cancer is caused due to the harmful chemicals deposited in the lungs. These chemicals are metabolically activated in the body by the enzymes present which cause DNA adducts further causing mutations forming a tumor. This tumor metastasis leading to cancer. Lung cancer is usually diagnosed after this tumor is metastasized; but we know that lung cancer is caused due to the toxic chemicals deposited. Toxic chemicals like asbestos, silica, benzene, aromatics amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons etc. are deposited in the lungs. These chemicals are deposited due to smoking (active or passive), levels of air pollution, and inhalation of harmful substances at work place. The strongest carcinogens known are benzene, PAHs like benzo[a]pyrene which lead to lung cancer in human beings. Toxicological studies on the absorption of these chemicals on the cell lines and degrading these chemicals is being done. Novel nano-composites possessing muco adhesive properties will be developed to deliver them to the alveoli in the lungs. These nano composites can trap these chemicals and eventually be removed from the body reducing the concentration of the toxic chemicals in the lungs reducing the probability of a person getting cancer.