Application of Biomarkers in Cancer Epidemiology
Biomarkers are increasingly being incorporated into epidemiologic studies of cancer etiology, often referred to as molecular epidemiology. This chapter focuses on the use of biomarkers in the context of etiologic research. It begins with a discussion of the development and characterization of biomarkers for use in epidemiologic studies, with a particular emphasis on understanding the components of variance and their impact on estimates of disease risk. It then discusses key issues in the use of exposure, intermediate end points, genetic susceptibility, and tumor biomarkers; and reviews the main epidemiologic study designs that use biomarkers. The chapter concludes with comments on collecting and processing biologic samples for use in molecular epidemiology studies.
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