Oncogenes are a class of genes capable of inducing neoplastic alterations of the cell. Recently, oncogenes have received greater attention in environmental medicine, since they may be useful tools for monitoring individuals exposed to carcinogenic chemicals. Their potential use as biomarkers is supported by studies indicating changes in the expression of growth factors and oncoproteins in chemically induced cancer. These alterations may even take place prior to clinical diagnosis. In addition, availability of new immunoblotting techniques, which allow the detection of oncoproteins and growth factors in easily accessible tissues, such as serum and urine, has provided promising preliminary results in humans. In this paper, mechanisms of oncogene activation and their role in occupational carcinogenesis are briefly discussed. Recent human studies suggesting a link between occupational toxicants and oncogenes, as well as a potential use of oncogenes as biomarkers, are also reported. Finally, advantages and limits of oncogenes over more traditional biomarkers are discussed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Oncogenes as indicators of occupational exposure to carcinogenic agents|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health