Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Cancer risk predictivity of micronuclei in peripheral lymphocytes

The studies of MN and cancer predictivity revealed a clear association between the frequency of MN and subsequent risk of cancer. The extent of risks observed was close to that measured for CAs. Thus, MN analysis, which is easier, cheaper, and faster than CA scoring, may provide an alternative for CAs in cancer risk prediction. The issue of specific tumour sites is still open for MN, given the short follow-up of most cohorts and the consequent small number of cancer cases.

An association of MN frequency with cancer risk has not been shown before. The earlier studies had given negative results, but were also based on methodologically more heterogeneous data and smaller cohorts. When the present cohorts will become older and more cases will be accumulated, further follow-ups will provide more information on, e.g., specific cancer sites. Expansion to new cohorts will also be possible.

The results will be utilized by the scientific community, representing experts, e.g., in cytogeneticists, human genetics, epidemiology, occupational health, and cancer research. Users also include laboratories performing cytogenetic monitoring of subject occupationally exposed to known or suspected carcinogens (chemicals and radiation), occupational health care units, and risk assessment bodies. The association between MN frequency and cancer risk is expected to promote the use of the MN assay as a biomarker of cancer risk in surveillance of occupational groups exposed to known or suspected carcinogens.

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Largo Rosanna Benzi, 10
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