Working Group 5: Genotoxicity and Susceptibility
Lead: PD Dr. Nancy Hopf
Co-Lead: Dr. Claudia Bolognesi / Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi
Working Group Members:
Working Group 5
Genotoxicity biomarkers are widely used in monitoring environmentally/occupationally exposed human populations (i.e. showing increase of DNA and chromosomal damage in patients with cancer, neurodegenerative syndromes, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes). Epigenetic alterations were primarily linked to development and cancer, but external stimuli can influence the epigenetic asset. Importantly, epigenetic alterations and in particular DNA methylation, are regarded as early events of cell transformation including hypomethylation and hypermethylation.
Different factors contribute to the overall variability, including assay variation, physiological and physical state of the subjects. The development of a robust and reproducible automated scoring system is leading to improvements in the sensitivity and accuracy of the determination by overcoming many of the problems caused by subjective evaluation. A number of confounding need to be identified: 1. to investigate the role of genetic and epigenetic markers in early detection of NCDs; 2. to define the meaning of baseline and induced genotoxicity at the individual level; 4. to develop a battery of biomarkers, including genetic and epigenetic markers to be applied in in the perspective of prevention strategies for environmental and professional exposure and as prescreening in individuals with increased risk for specific diseases.