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Roadmap for investigating epigenome deregulation and environmental origins of cancer.

Herceg, Zdenko; Ghantous, Akram; Wild, Christopher P.; Sklias, Athena; Casati, Lavinia; Duthie, Susan J.; Fry, Rebecca; Issa, Jean?Pierre; Kellermayer, Richard; Koturbash, Igor; Kondo, Yukata; Lepeule, Johanna; Lima, Sheila C.S.; Marsit, Carmen J.; Rakyan, Vardhman; Saffery, Richard; Taylor, Jack A.; Teschendorff, Andrew E.; Ushijima, Toshikazu; Vineis, Paolo; Walker, Cheryl Lyn; Waterland, Robert A.; Wiemels, Joe; Ambatipudi, Srikant; Esposti, Davide Degli; Hernandez?Vargas, Hector


Zdenko Herceg

Akram Ghantous

Christopher P. Wild

Athena Sklias

Lavinia Casati

Rebecca Fry

Jean?Pierre Issa

Richard Kellermayer

Igor Koturbash

Yukata Kondo

Johanna Lepeule

Sheila C.S. Lima

Carmen J. Marsit

Vardhman Rakyan

Richard Saffery

Jack A. Taylor

Andrew E. Teschendorff

Toshikazu Ushijima

Paolo Vineis

Cheryl Lyn Walker

Robert A. Waterland

Joe Wiemels

Srikant Ambatipudi

Davide Degli Esposti

Hector Hernandez?Vargas


The interaction between the (epi)genetic makeup of an individual and his/her environmental exposure record (exposome) is accepted as a determinant factor for a significant proportion of human malignancies. Recent evidence has highlighted the key role of epigenetic mechanisms in mediating gene-environment interactions and translating exposures into tumorigenesis. There is also growing evidence that epigenetic changes may be risk factor-specific ('fingerprints') that should prove instrumental in the discovery of new biomarkers in cancer. Here, we review the state of the science of epigenetics associated with environmental stimuli and cancer risk, highlighting key developments in the field. Critical knowledge gaps and research needs are discussed as well as advances in epigenomics that may help an understanding of the functional relevance of epigenetic alterations. Key elements required for causality inferences linking epigenetic changes to exposure and cancer are discussed as well as how these alterations can be incorporated in carcinogen evaluation and in understanding mechanisms underlying epigenome deregulation by the environment.


HERCEG, Z., GHANTOUS, A., WILD, C.P., SKLIAS, A., CASATI, L., DUTHIE, S.J., FRY, R., ISSA, J.-P., KELLERMAYER, R., KOTURBASH, I., KONDO, Y., LEPEULE, J., LIMA, S.C.S., MARSIT, C.J., RAKYAN, V., SAFFERY, R., TAYLOR, J.A., TESCHENDORFF, A.E., USHIJIMA, T., VINEIS, P., WALKER, C.L., WATERLAND, R.A., WIEMELS, J., AMBATIPUDI, S., ESPOSTI, D.D. and HERNANDEZ-VARGAS, H. 2017. Roadmap for investigating epigenome deregulation and environmental origins of cancer. International journal of cancer [online], 142(5), pages 874-882. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 24, 2017
Publication Date Mar 1, 2018
Deposit Date Aug 28, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 28, 2017
Journal International journal of cancer
Print ISSN 0020-7136
Electronic ISSN 1097-0215
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 142
Issue 5
Pages 874-882
Keywords Epigenetics; Environment; Cancer; Molecular mechanisms; Research gaps; Perspectives; Biomarkers
Public URL