Epidemiological concepts of validation of biomarkers for the identification/quantification of environmental carcinogenic exposures.
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AbstractThe present report has been prepared by a group of European scientists in the context of the EU-funded Network of Exellence ECNIS whose goal is to provide effective biomarkers for the study of the relationships between environmental toxicants, dietary habits and cancer. The use of biomarkers in cancer epidemiology has a rather long history (the wording "molecular epidemiology" was originally proposed by Perera and Weinstein in 1982) and great successes have been achieved, like the investigation of the predictive ability of chromosome aberrations, the relationship between aromatic amines in tobacco, the NAT2 genotype and bladder cancer, or the mechanisms by which benzene induces leukaemia. However, many biomarkers are introduced into research without proper validation, and this hampers successful research, introducing bias or simply blurring existing associations. In addition, new and complex issues are emerging through the introduction of high-throughput technologies, like the expected large number of false positives, or the complex interplay between environmental exposures, intermediate markers, confounders and disease. Causality assessment has really become a challenge. For these reasons, we think it can be useful to summarize the main criteria for biomarker validation (Chapter 1); to offer some insights into new technical and statistical developments for the management and interpretation of biomarker data (Chapter 2); and to offer some examples of existing information (usually sparse) on biomarker validation (Chapter 3).
CitationEpidemiological concepts of validation of biomarkers for the identification/quantification of environmental carcinogenic exposures. Ed. Paolo Vineis, Valentina Gallo. 2007.
Series/Report no.ECNIS REport
SponsorsECNIS is a Network of Excellence within the European Union’s Sixth Framework Programme, Priority 5: Food Quality and Safety. It brings together some of the best European research groups in a concerted effort to achieve improved understanding of the environmental causes of cancer, of the potential of diet to prevent cancer and of the ways in which heredity can affect individual susceptibility to carcinogens, with the ultimate aim of reducing the cancer burden in Europe. ECNIS is coordinated by Prof. Konrad Rydzyƒski, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Sw. Teresy 8, 91-348 Lodz, Poland. This review has been prepared as part of ECNIS Work Package 8: Evaluation of the contribution of biomarker technology to the identification/quantification of environmental carcinogenic exposures.