Chromosomal biomarkers of genomic instability relevant to cancer

Drug Discov Today. 2002 Nov 15;7(22):1128-37. doi: 10.1016/s1359-6446(02)02502-3.


It is generally acknowledged that a crucial event in the initiation and evolution of cancer is the acquisition of a genomic instability phenotype. This review focuses on mechanisms of chromosomal instability including aneuploidy, chromosome rearrangement and breakage-fusion-bridge cycles. The role of micronutrient deficiency, such as folate deficiency, in the causation of chromosomal instability is briefly reviewed and the concept of recommended dietary allowances for genomic stability is introduced. In addition, the techniques for measuring the various chromosomal instability events are discussed with a focus on the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay as an almost complete system for measuring these various genetic mishaps.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Breakage
  • DNA Damage / genetics
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Genetic Markers