Many human cancers are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. Biomarkers of exposure and risk developed by our team have provided critical data on internal exposure to toxic and genotoxic chemicals and their connection to cancer in humans. This review highlights our research using biomarkers to identify key factors influencing cancer risk as well as their application to assess the effectiveness of exposure intervention and chemoprevention protocols. The use of these biomarkers to understand individual susceptibility to the harmful effects of tobacco products is a powerful example of the value of this type of research and has provided key data confirming the link between tobacco smoke exposure and cancer risk. Furthermore, this information has led to policy changes that have reduced tobacco use and consequently, the tobacco-related cancer burden. Recent technological advances in mass spectrometry led to the ability to detect DNA damage in human tissues as well as the development of adductomic approaches. These new methods allowed for the detection of DNA adducts in tissues from patients with cancer, providing key evidence that exposure to carcinogens leads to DNA damage in the target tissue. These advances will provide valuable insights into the etiologic causes of cancer that are not tobacco-related.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1904-1919
Number of pages16
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Association for Cancer Research.


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