Radiation Biomarkers in Large Scale Human Health Effects Studies.
Following recent developments, the RENEB network (Running the European Network of biological dosimetry and physical retrospective dosimetry) is in an excellent position to carry out large scale molecular epidemiological studies of ionizing radiation effects, with validated expertise in the dicentric, fluorescent hybridization (FISH)-translocation, micronucleus, premature chromosome condensation, gamma-H2AX foci and gene expression assays. Large scale human health effects studies present complex challenges such as the practical aspects of sample logistics, assay costs, effort, effect modifiers and quality control/assurance measures. At Public Health England, the dicentric, automated micronucleus and gamma-H2AX radiation-induced foci assays have been tested for use in a large health effects study. The results of the study and the experience gained in carrying out such a large scale investigation provide valuable information that could help minimise random and systematic errors in biomarker data sets for health surveillance analyses going forward.