Molecular bio-dosimetry for carcinogenic risk assessment in survivors of Bhopal gas tragedy
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Dr. H. S. Gour Central University, Sagar, India (Translational Research Lab, School of Biological Sciences)
Tata Memorial Centre, Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer, Navi Mumbai, India (Division of Translational Research)
Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Bhopal, India (Department of Research and Training)
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Pradyumna Kumar Mishra   

Translational Research Lab, School of Biological Sciences, Dr. H. S. Gour Central University, Sagar 470 003, India
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2015;28(6):921-39
December 2014 marked the 30th year anniversary of Bhopal gas tragedy. This sudden and accidental leakage of deadly poisonous methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas instigated research efforts to understand the nature, severity of health damage and sufferings of 570 000 ailing survivors of this tragedy. In a decade-long period, our systematic laboratory investigations coupled with long-term molecular surveillance studies have comprehensively demonstrated that the risk of developing an environmental associated aberrant disease phenotype, including cancer, involves complex interplay of genomic and epigenetic reprogramming. These findings poised us to translate this knowledge into an investigative framework of “molecular biodosimetry” in a strictly selected cohort of MIC exposed individuals. A pragmatic cancer risk-assessment strategy pursued in concert with a large-scale epidemiological study might unfold molecular underpinnings of host-susceptibility and exposureresponse relationship. The challenges are enormous, but we postulate that the study will be necessary to establish a direct initiation-promotion paradigm of environmental carcinogenesis. Given that mitochondrial retrograde signaling-induced epigenetic reprogramming is apparently linked to neoplasticity, a cutting-edge tailored approach by an expert pool of biomedical researchers will be fundamental to drive these strategies from planning to execution. Validating the epigenomic signatures will hopefully result in the development of biomarkers to better protect human lives in an overburdened ecosystem, such as India, which is continuously challenged to meet population demands. Besides, delineating the mechanistic links between MIC exposure and cancer morbidity, our investigative strategy might help to formulate suitable regulatory policies and measures to reduce the overall burden of occupational and environmental carcinogenesis.
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