Biomarkers of genetic damage and inflammation in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid among former German uranium miners: a pilot study
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Former East German uranium miners who are known to have been exposed to radon are estimated to be at high risk for lung carcinogenesis. Among these miners over 200 occupationally caused lung cancer cases are expected to occur each year, resulting in a total of 7,000–24,000 excess lung cancer cases in the coming years. It is still unknown whether there is a correlation between biomarkers and the exposure of the uranium miners to ionizing radiation that might enable us to trace those miners with high lung cancer risk. The primary aim of this pilot study was to test the possibility of performing a biomarker study in this unique cohort of former uranium miners in spite of several limitations that had to be taken into consideration when comparing them with healthy controls, such as old age, age-dependent diseases and potential confounding artefacts from dissimilar smoking patterns. The second aim was to test a range of biomarkers for DNA damage and inflammation in leukocytes and bronchoalveolar fluid for their ability to detect biological effects. In this cohort of miners we found an increased frequency of chromosomal aberrations in blood lymphocytes and an increased prevalence of both fibronectin and tumour necrosis factor α in the bronchoalveolar fluid.
KeywordsBronchoalveolar Lavage Chromosomal Aberration Lavage Fluid Lung Cancer Risk Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
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