Because of unfavourable cancer mortality statistics of Hungary, the search of different biomarkers is one of the most important demands of the national primary cancer prevention programme. The aim of this study was to clarify the usefulness of bleomycin sensitivity assay elaborated in the USA, and to find whether it serves under our environmental conditions as a biomarker of individual sensitivity and risk for head and neck cancer, beside chromosomal aberration analysis. The test reflecting mutagen sensitivity is based on the mean values of chromatid breaks induced by bleomycin in vitro in a single lymphocyte (break/cell = b/c). Since cancer formation is influenced by environmental mutagens, in contrast to others, their 111 head and neck cancer patients were matched not only with 230 healthy controls (106 nonsmokers and 124 smokers), but also with 44 strong alcoholic and smoking patients with liver diseases whose lifestyle did not differ from that of the cancer patients. According to the results of conventional chromosome analysis, the aberrant cell frequency was the highest in the cancer patients (3.34%), while in the alcoholics (2.73%) and healthy smokers (2.88%) the values were similar. Thus, the genetic instability occurring in the form of elevated rate of spontaneous chromosomal aberrations was mostly expressed in head and neck cancer patients. Mutagen sensitivity measured by the b/c values of bleomycin assay was significantly higher in both the cancer (1.16 b/c) and the alcoholic patients (1.34 b/c) compared with the controls (1.0 b/c). The bleomycin sensitivity assay, therefore, seems to be the biomarker not only of cancer, but also the disease of the same etiology such as alcohol-related liver disease. However the method is not suitable for the assessment of individual cancer risk because of the high variability of b/c values in each group, and their considerable overlapping with the controls. It can also be supported with extremely high mutagen sensitivity of Hungarian controls (63 and 67%), which is three-fold of US values (23%). The bleomycin sensitivity assay is not a selective biomarker if comparing to the controls, probably due to the action of more complex exposures under Hungarian environmental conditions. When estimating cancer risk, the results of conventional chromosome analysis offer more information than bleomycin sensitivity assay.
|Translated title of the contribution||Validity of chromosome analysis and bleomycin sensitivity assay in the prevention of head and neck cancer in Hungary|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 25 2001|
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