In addition to the well-known link between smoking and lung cancer, large epidemiological studies have shown a relationship between smoking and cancers of the nose, oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, bladder, kidney, stomach, liver, colon and cervix, as well as myeloid leukemia. Epidemiological evidence has reported a direct link between exposure of non-smokers to environmental tobacco smoke and disease, most notably, lung cancer. Much evidence demonstrates that carcinogenic-DNA adducts are useful markers of tobacco smoke exposure, providing an integrated measurement of carcinogen intake, metabolic activation, and delivery to the DNA in target tissues. Monitoring accessible surrogate tissues, such as white blood cells or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells, also provides a means of investigating passive and active tobacco exposure in healthy individuals and cancer patients. Levels of DNA adducts measured in many tissues of smokers are significantly higher than in non-smokers. While some studies have demonstrated an association between carcinogenic DNA adducts and cancer in current smokers, no association has been observed in ex or never smokers. The role of genetic susceptibility in the development of smoking related-cancer is essential. In order to establish whether smoking-related DNA adducts are biomarkers of tobacco smoke exposure and/or its carcinogenic activity we summarized all data that associated tobacco smoke exposure and smoking-related DNA adducts both in controls and/or in cancer cases and studies where the effect of genetic polymorphisms involved in the activation and deactivation of carcinogens were also evaluated. In the future we hope we will be able to screen for lung cancer susceptibility by using specific biomarkers and that subjects of compared groups can be stratified for multiple potential modulators of biomarkers, taking into account various confounding factors
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