Ionizing radiation biomarkers in epidemiological studies – An update

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Janet Hall
  • Penny Jeggo
  • Catharine West
  • Maria Gomolka
  • Christophe Badie
  • Olivier Laurent
  • An Aerts
  • Natasa Anastasov
  • Omid Azimzadeh
  • Tamara Azizova
  • Eric Blanchardon
  • Yann Gueguen
  • Siamak Haghdoost
  • Mats Harms-Ringhdahl
  • Julia Hess
  • Michaela Kreuzer
  • Dominique Laurier
  • Ellina Macaeva
  • Grainne Manning
  • Eileen Pernot
  • Jean-Luc Ravanat
  • Laure Sabatier
  • Karine Tack
  • Soile Tapio
  • Horst Zitzelsberger
  • Elizabeth Cardis

Institutes & Expert groups

  • Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1
  • US - University of Sussex
  • UNIMAN - The University of Manchester
  • Bfs - Bundesamt Für Strahlenschutz - Federal Office for Radiation Protection
  • PHE - Public Health England
  • IRSN - Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety - Institut Radioprotection Sûreté Nucléaire
  • HMGU - Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health
  • SUBI - Southern Urals Biophysics Institute
  • Université de Bordeaux 1 - IXL
  • UGA - University of Grenoble
  • CEA Saclay - Commissariat à l'énergie atomique
  • ISGlobal - Barcelona Institute of Global Health
  • UPF - Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • CIBERESP - Epidemiología y Salud Pública

Documents & links


Recent epidemiology studies highlighted the detrimental health effects of exposure to low dose and low dose rate ionizing radiation (IR): nuclear industry workers studies have shown increased leukaemia and solid tumour risks following cumulative doses of of <100 mSv and dose rates of <10 mGy per year; paediatric patients studies have reported increased leukaemia and brain tumours risks after doses of 30–60 mGy from computed tomography scans. Questions arise, however, about the impact of even lower doses and dose rates where classical epidemiological studies have limited power but where subsets within the large cohorts are expected to have an increased risk. Further progress requires integration of biomarkers or bioassays of individual exposure, effects and susceptibility to IR. The European DoReMi (Low Dose Research towards Multidisciplinary Integration) consortium previously reviewed biomarkers for potential use in IR epidemiological studies. Given the increased mechanistic understanding of responses to low dose radiation the current review provides an update covering technical advances and recent studies. A key issue identified is deciding which biomarkers to progress. A roadmap is provided for biomarker development from discovery to implementation and used to summarise the current status of proposed biomarkers for epidemiological studies. Most potential biomarkers remain at the discovery stage and for some there is sufficient evidence that further development is not warranted.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-84
Number of pages26
JournalMutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2017


  • biomarkers, effects, exposure, individual sensitivity, ionizing radiation, molecular epidemiology

ID: 2118754