Biomarkers in molecular epidemiology studies for health risk prediction

Stefano Bonassi, William W. Au

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The field of molecular epidemiology is very promising, as sophisticated techniques are being developed to address etiology, genetic susceptibility and mechanisms for induction of disease. The use of biomarkers plays a key role in these investigations because the information can be used to predict the development of disease and to implement disease prevention programs. However, as emphasized by Frederica P. Perera, the field is strewn with studies either that failed to use validated biomarkers or whose designs did not adequately consider the biology of the endpoints, and the availability of validated biomarkers of health risk is still limited. In this review, we have briefly described the usefulness of certain biomarkers for the documentation of exposure and early biological effects, with special concern for the prediction of cancer. An emphasis is placed on understanding the biological and health significance of biomarkers. By building reliable biomarker databases, a promising future is the integration of information from the genome programs to expand the scientific frontiers on etiology, health risk prediction and prevention of environmental disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalMutation Research - Reviews in Mutation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Biomarkers
  • Chromosome aberrations
  • FISH
  • Gene mutation
  • Health risk assessment
  • HPRT
  • Micronuclei
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Population studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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