Molecular Biomarkers

J. D. Groopman, J. S. Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The development and application of molecular biomarkers reflecting events from exposure to the diagnosis of clinical diseases had rapidly expanded our knowledge of the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. These biomarkers will have increasing potential for early detection, treatment, interventions, and prevention. Biomarkers derived from toxicant/carcinogen metabolism include a variety of parent compounds and metabolites in body fluids and excreta. Carcinogen-macromolecular adducts, such as DNA and protein adducts, formed in blood and tissues, or excreted in urine, are specific biomarkers for various aspects: as biomarkers for exposure to assess human exposure to the complex mixture and occupational carcinogens; as biomarkers for biologically effective dose or early biological effect to measure the actual dose to the carcinogen target site; and as biomarkers for risk assessment between carcinogen exposure and eventual cancer formation. Many different analytical techniques have been developed to identify and measure parent compounds, metabolites, carcinogen-DNA, and carcinogen-protein adducts. Use of advanced techniques, such as rapidly developing metabolomics and proteomics techniques, and incorporation of validated biomarkers into large-scale studies will help to understand the complex nature of gene-environment and chemical-biological interactions. In the future, integration of data for molecular biomarkers together with other environmental and host susceptibility factors in molecular epidemiological studies of chronic human diseases will assist in the elucidation of pathogenesis and high-risk individuals. The molecular epidemiology investigations of aflatoxins probably represent one of the most extensive data sets in the field and may serve as a template for future studies of other environmental agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComprehensive Toxicology
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)9780080468846
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Aflatoxins
  • Biomarker of effect
  • Biomarker of expossure
  • Biomarker of susceptibility
  • Internal dose
  • Molecular epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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