Biomarkers of Exposure to Carcinogens
Genetic Toxicology, Oncogenesis, Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology
Published Online: 15 DEC 2009
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
General, Applied and Systems Toxicology
How to Cite
Scheepers, P. T. 2009. Biomarkers of Exposure to Carcinogens. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology.
- Published Online: 15 DEC 2009
In human exposure assessment a biomarker is a parent substance, metabolite or addition product (adduct) that can be measured in blood, urine, exhaled air or in other biological tissues. The biomarker provides information on the internal exposure to a chemical substance. Biomarkers can be used to evaluate exposure to carcinogenic substances in the workplace or in the general environment. If the parent compound is used as a biomarker, information on uptake from different sources and via different routes can be obtained. Use of a metabolite or adduct to DNA or proteins also provides information on bioavailability and metabolic activation. The half-life of biomarkers determines the moment of sample collection relative to time of exposure. Some biomarkers are mechanism-based and provide useful information on the formation of genotoxic intermediates. Most biomarkers reflect systemic bioavailability rather than a target dose, which sometimes limits the interpretation in terms of assessment of cancer risk. The method of sample collection, pretreatment, transportation, storage and a reproducible and sensitive method of analysis should be selected with care. Background values and biological limit values provide a framework for interpretation. The study protocol should comply with international standards in ethics of biomedical studies involving human subjects.
- human biological monitoring;
- end-exhaled air;
- urinary metabolite;
- biological limit value