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Assessment of predictive value for cancer of cytogenetic biomarkers used in surveillance of occupationally exposed workers


- To pool the data on cytogenetic scoring and cancer and cardiovascular mortality from a Nordic and an Italian cohort in order to facilitate more detailed assessments of the predictive value of cytogenetic tests.
- To perform a cohort based case-referent study that aim to determine whether the association between cytogenetic endpoints and cancer risk depends on (specific) exposures.

Cytogenetic tests on peripheral blood lymphocytes from exposed workers have since 2-3 decades been used in occupational health surveillance programmes in order to assess genotoxic risks. It is postulated, but not proven, that increased cytogenetic damage may reflect an enhanced cancer risk. It is important to clarify this matter, as a firm knowledge of the predictive value of early biomarkers for genotoxicity may become an important tool when implementing preventive measures for increasing the safety and health protection of workers. Preliminary results from a Nordic and an Italian study, show a positive trend between the frequency of chromosomal aberrations (CA) and increased cancer risk. A pooled analysis of follow-up data from these two cohorts would substantially increase the statistical power, and make a more detailed assessment feasible earlier than otherwise possible.The Nordic cohort comprises 3182 adult individuals cytogenetically examined during 1970 to 1988, in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, because of mainly occupational exposure to mutagens or carcinogens, or they were tested as unexposed referents. The Italian cohort comprises 3500 subjects cytogenetically examined for similar reasons 1965 to 1993. A further follow up will comprise cancer incidence/mortality data up to 1993-1995. A cohort based case-referent study on various cancer diagnoses, considering occupational exposures and socio-economic and life style risk predictors, will be performed.

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Lund University
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221 85 Lund

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