Biomarkers in Environmental Carcinogenesis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental and personal monitoring does not give direct information on the action of environmental agents in the human body. Biomarkers include the human factor. A biomarker is any substance, structure, or process and its products that can be measured in the human body and that may influence or predict the incidence or outcome of disease. Biomarkers are essential tools in environmental cancer research and in molecular environmental epidemiology. They serve to explore the links among environmental exposure, genome, host factors, and cancer. This article briefly introduces environmental carcinogens. It outlines the main processes of biotransformation, the metabolic activation of environmental carcinogens. It touches on the design of biomarker studies in human populations and discusses the most widely used biomarkers of exposure, biomarkers of biological effects, and biomarkers of genetic susceptibility with reference to the main methods. It presents some broadly relevant results from typical and important molecular epidemiological studies, and deals with the interpretation of biomarker results. It also points to the advantages and future potentials of the use of biomarkers in environmental health research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Environmental Health
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780444522726
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Biomarkers of biological effect
  • Biomarkers of exposure
  • Biomarkers of genetic susceptibility
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • DNA adduct
  • Environmental carcinogen
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Micronuclei
  • Molecular cancer epidemiology
  • Mutation
  • Oncogenes
  • Protein adduct
  • Tumor suppressor genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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  • Cite this

    Schoket, B. (2011). Biomarkers in Environmental Carcinogenesis. In Encyclopedia of Environmental Health (pp. 378-388). Elsevier Inc..