Predictive value of molecular dosimetry: Individual versus group effects of oltipraz on aflatoxin-albumin adducts and risk of liver cancer

Thomas W. Kensler, Stephen J. Gange, Patricia A. Egner, Patrick M. Dolan, Alvaro Muñoz, John D. Groopman, Adrianne E. Rogers, Bill D. Roebuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Studies in animals and humans have established serum aflatoxin-albumin adducts as biomarkers of exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a food-borne hepatocarcinogen. To assess the utility of measurements of aflatoxin-albumin adducts to predict risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 123 male F344 rats were dosed with 20 μg of AFB1 daily for 5 weeks after randomization into three groups: no intervention; delayed-transient (500 ppm of oltipraz, weeks 2 and 3 relative to AFB1); or persistent (500 ppm oltipraz, weeks -1 to 5). Serial blood samples were collected from each animal at weekly intervals throughout aflatoxin B1 exposure and assayed for levels of aflatoxin- albumin by radioimmune assay. Area under the curve (AUC) values for aflatoxin-albumin adducts decreased 20 and 39% in the delayed-transient and persistent oltipraz intervention groups, respectively, as compared to no intervention. Similarly, the total incidence of HCC dropped from 83 to 60% (P = 0.03) and 48% (P < 0.01) in these groups. Tumor multiplicity was also reduced in the two oltipraz intervention groups, whereas time to HCC was increased. Mononuclear cell leukemia, a common neoplasm in F344 rats, was seen in 39% of the control animals, whereas the two oltipraz interventions reduced incidence to 18% (P = 0.05) and 13% (P = 0.01), respectively. Overall, a significant association was seen between biomarker AUZ and risk of HCC (P = 0.01). However, when the predictive value of aflatoxin-albumin adducts was assessed within treatment groups, there was no association between AUC and risk of HCC (P = 0.56). Thus, aflatoxin-albumin adducts can be useful for monitoring population-based changes induced by interventions, such as in chemoprevention trials, but have limited utility in identifying individuals destined to develop HCC. As a consequence, the use of this biomarker in quantitative risk assessment should be pursued cautiously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-610
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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