DNA adducts are believed to play a central role in the induction of cancer in cigarette smokers and are proposed as being potential biomarkers of cancer risk. We have summarized research conducted since 2012 on DNA adduct formation in smokers. A variety of DNA adducts derived from various classes of carcinogens, including aromatic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, alkylating agents, aldehydes, volatile carcinogens, as well as oxidative damage have been reported. The results are discussed with particular attention to the analytical methods used in those studies. Mass spectrometry-based methods that have higher selectivity and specificity compared to 32
P-postlabeling or immunochemical approaches are preferred. Multiple DNA adducts specific to tobacco constituents have also been characterized for the first time in vitro or detected in vivo since 2012, and descriptions of those adducts are included. We also discuss common issues related to measuring DNA adducts in humans, including the development and validation of analytical methods and prevention of artifact formation.
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