Monitoring Human Exposure to Environmental Carcinogens

  • Regina M. Santella
  • Yu Jing Zhang
  • Tie Lan Young
  • Byung Mu Lee
  • Xiao Qing Lu
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 283)


One of the long range goal of research in chemical carcinogenesis is the identification of individuals at increased risk of cancer development. Cancer is a multistep, multistage process in which many factors effect ultimate risk. The initiating event in the process of chemical carcinogenesis is the binding of the reactive electrophilic species of the carcinogen to nucleophilic sites in DNA. The extent of this reaction is influenced by a number of factors including metabolism to the active species or less toxic metabolites, detoxification of reactive intermediates and repair of adducts once formed. Thus, individuals with the same exposure may be at very different risk for cancer development because of differences in these processes due to genetic susceptibility. Suggestive evidence for this genetic susceptibility has come from epidemiologic studies demonstrating a higher proportion of individuals with a specific phenotype (e.g. poor metabolizers of debrisoquin or lacking specific glutathione transferase activity) among cancer cases than controls (Ayesh et al. 1984, Seidegard et al. 1986).


Adduct Level Protein Adduct Foundry Worker Thymine Glycol Coke Oven Worker 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Regina M. Santella
    • 1
  • Yu Jing Zhang
    • 1
  • Tie Lan Young
    • 1
  • Byung Mu Lee
    • 1
  • Xiao Qing Lu
    • 1
  1. 1.Comprehensive Cancer Center and Division of Environmental Sciences, School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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