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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Scientific Publications by FDA Staff

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J Environ Sci Health C 2014 Apr 3;32(2):121-58

Toxicogenomics and cancer susceptibility: advances with next-generation sequencing.

Ning B, Su Z, Mei N, Hong H, Deng H, Shi L, Fuscoe JC, Tolleson WH


The aim of this review is to comprehensively summarize the recent achievements in the field of toxicogenomics and cancer research regarding genetic-environmental interactions in carcinogenesis and detection of genetic aberrations in cancer genomes by next-generation sequencing technology. Cancer is primarily a genetic disease in which genetic factors and environmental stimuli interact to cause genetic and epigenetic aberrations in human cells. Mutations in the germline act as either high-penetrance alleles that strongly increase the risk of cancer development, or as low-penetrance alleles that mildly change an individual's susceptibility to cancer. Somatic mutations, resulting from either DNA damage induced by exposure to environmental mutagens or from spontaneous errors in DNA replication or repair are involved in the development or progression of the cancer. Induced or spontaneous changes in the epigenome may also drive carcinogenesis. Advances in next-generation sequencing technology provide us opportunities to accurately, economically, and rapidly identify genetic variants, somatic mutations, gene expression profiles, and epigenetic alterations with single-base resolution. Whole genome sequencing, whole exome sequencing, and RNA sequencing of paired cancer and adjacent normal tissue present a comprehensive picture of the cancer genome. These new findings should benefit public health by providing insights in understanding cancer biology, and in improving cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Category: Journal Article, Review
PubMed ID: #24875441 DOI: 10.1080/10590501.2014.907460
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Toxicological Research
Entry Created: 2014-05-31 Entry Last Modified: 2014-07-19