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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the First Lorenzo Tomatis Conference on Environment and Cancer

Open Access Proceedings

Biomarkers for hazard identification in humans

Helmut Bartsch1*, Khelifa Arab12 and Jagadeesan Nair1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Toxicology and Cancer Risk Factors, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

2 Division of Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

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Environmental Health 2011, 10(Suppl 1):S11  doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-S1-S11

Published: 5 April 2011

Abstract

Background

Oxidative stress enhances lipid peroxidation (LPO), which both are implicated in the promotion and progression stages of carcinogenesis, in particular under conditions of chronic inflammation and infections. Exocyclic etheno-DNA adducts, which are formed by LPO-products such as 4-hydroxy –2-nonenal, are strongly pro-mutagenic DNA lesions.

Methods

The development of ultra-sensitive detection methods for etheno-adducts in human tissues, white blood cells( WBC) and urine has provided evidence that these adducts are elevated in affected organs of cancer-prone patients, probably acting as a driving force to malignancy.

Results

Two recent studies that yielded some new insights into disease causation are briefly reviewed:DNA-damage in WBC of mother-newborn child pairs, and lipid peroxidation derived DNA damage in patients with cancer-prone liver diseases. Our results indicate that biomonitoring of etheno-DNA adducts in humans are promising tools (i) to better understand disease aetiopathogenesis, allowing hazard identification(ii) to monitor disease progression and (iii) to verify the efficacy of chemopreventive and therapeutic interventions .Such clinical trials are warranted.