In the new study, the research team aimed to check whether phthalates, namely di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), affect the growth of uterine fibroids (the larger a fibroid grows, the more likely it is to cause symptoms). The analysis demonstrated that phthalates promoted the growth of a tumor.
Corresponding author Dr. Serdar E. Bulun, a reproductive endocrinologist and department chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says: “We showed exactly what it [DEHP] does to the cells. When kynurenine increases in the cell, it binds to AHR. AHR does all these nasty things that make cells grow and fail to die, creating the tumor.”