A new publication by researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examines and summarizes the best available scientific evidence of environmental toxicants acting as epigenetic disrupters. The Commentary also discusses the advantages and challenges of using epigenetic biomarkers as an indicator of adverse exposure, as well as measures that could be taken to improve cancer risk assessment and perspectives on the future role of epigenetics in toxicology and carcinogen evaluation.
The application of epigenomic data in toxicology and cancer risk assessment has been limited by an incomplete understanding of epigenomic variability across tissue types and populations. Recently, new tools have been developed and multidisciplinary research efforts have resulted in comprehensive maps of epigenomic variation and a better understanding of epigenetic mechanisms. These advances should overcome the current impediments and open up a new horizon of possibilities, allowing for more optimistic and ambitious concepts for the future of toxicology.
Chung FF, Herceg Z
The promises and challenges of toxico-epigenomics: environmental chemicals and their impacts on the epigenome
Environmental Health Perspectives, Published online 17 January 2020;