The main achievements in the DNA adduct field in the 1990s have been technical innovations of methods for specific adducts reaching sensitivities required for low levels encountered in humans. Over 20 specific adducts or closely related groups of adducts have been determined in humans. The sources of the DNA-binding agents are endogenous and exogenous or both. In some of these studies adduct levels have been correlated to metabolic or DNA repair genotypes. An example of DNA adduct studies in human target tissue is taken on UV photoproducts in skin in situ. Adduct-induced mutations, specific mutation spectra, and their relationship to cancer are discussed. The quantitative adduct techniques will enable comparisons of endogenous and exogenous adduct levels and will give important clues to the etiology of human cancer. Furthermore, adducts will provide an intermediary tool for genotyping studies, both for metabolic enzyme and for DNA repair system genotypes. As the common polymorphisms are likely to cause at most moderate increases in the risk of cancer, the intermediary adduct endpoint is a necessary proof of causal relationships. The present and future biomonitoring studies will cover many endpoints to link the mechanistic steps from DNA adducts to cancer via mutations and modulating host susceptibility factors.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.