Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
Master of Public Health (MPH)
School of Public Health
A search of the cancer literature reveals the strong association between long-term nighttime shiftwork and increased risk of breast cancer in female workers. Since 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has categorized shiftwork as "probably carcinogenic to humans", a Group 2A carcinogen1. Evidence from epigenetic studies shows that differential methylation of genes is one possible mechanism by which long-term shiftwork disrupts the expression patterns of the genes responsible for maintaining a cancer free status.
This study builds upon the work initiated by Zhu et al and investigates the association between shiftwork dependent methylation of the NBR2-BRAC1 promoter region and the risk of breast cancer in female nighttime shift workers. Understanding the effects of methylation in the NBR2-BRAC1 region is important because these genes share a bi-directional promoter that sits within a large CpG island. Unraveling the significance of methylation in this region will provide a deeper understanding of the epigenetic factors that promote breast cancer in female long-term nighttime shift workers and possibly reveal a biomarker of clinical significance.
Ramos, Christian, "Methylation Of The Brca1 Promoter And Breast Cancer In Shift Workers." (2013). Public Health Theses. 1239.