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Regina Santella


Dr. Regina Santella involves the use of biomarkers to detect human exposure to environmental and occupational carcinogens in molecular epidemiological studies to identify causative factors, vulnerable populations and preventive measures. Her work has enabled the determination of exposure to carcinogens by measuring their binding to DNA using highly specific and sensitive immunoassays with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies that her laboratory developed. These studies have shown higher levels of DNA damage in people with environmental or occupational exposure and in people with breast, lung and liver cancer compared to controls. The role of genetic susceptibility to cancer risk is also being explored. Current studies are trying to understand what role environmental / lifestyle factors play in epigenetic changes in DNA methylation and microRNA expression, how they influence cancer risk and whether epigenetic changes can be used for the early detection of cancer.


Chronic Diseases Environmental Health Genetics


PhD, 1976, City University of New York MS, 1971, University of Massachusetts BS, 1969, Brooklyn College

The editorial staff

Environment and health perspectives

3 year jd mba programs

Columbia Affiliations

Co-Leiter des Cancer Epidemiology Program und Director Biomarkers Shared Resource, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Other affiliations

Member, Member of the American Association for Cancer Research, Member of the Society of Toxicology, Member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi

areas of expertise

Cancer, Oncogenes, Chemical Hazards, Environmental Risk Factors, Molecular Epidemiology, Epigenetics, Gene-Environment Interactions, Genetic Susceptibility

Select publications

Yoon AJ, Wang S, Kutler DI, Carvajal RD, Philipone E, Wang T, Peters SM, LaRoche D, Hernandez BY, McDowell BD, Stewart CR, Momen-Heravi F, Santella RM MicroRNA-based risk assessment system for the early detection of patients with oral Squamous cell carcinoma at high risk for cancer-specific mortality. Head Neck. 2020; 42: 1699-1712.1002 / hed.26089. doi: 10.1002 / hed. PMID: 31981257 Wu HC, Do C, Andrulis IL, John EM, Daly MB, Buys SS, Chung WK, Knight JA, Bradbury AR, Keegan THM, Schwartz L, Krupska I, Miller RL, Santella RM, Tycko B, Terry MB . Breast cancer family history and allele-specific DNA methylation in the Legacy Girls study. Epigenetics. 2018 Feb 13: 1-23. doi: 10.1080 / 15592294.2018.1435243. [Epub before printing] PMID: 29436922 Chu YJ, Yang HI, Wu HC, Liu J, Wang LY, Lu SN, Lee MH, Jen CL, You SL, Santella RM, Chen CJ. Aflatoxin B1 exposure increases the risk of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic carriers of the hepatitis B virus. Int J cancer. Aug 15, 2017; 141 (4): 711-720. doi: 10.1002 / ijc.30782. Epub 2017 May 26th. PMID: 28509392 Shen J, LeFave C, Sirosh I, Siegel AB, Tycko B, Santella RM. Integrative epigenomic and genomic filtering for methylation markers in hepatocellular carcinomas. BMC Med Genomics. June 10, 2015; 8 (1): 28. doi: 10.1186 / s12920-015-0105-1. PMCID: PMC4460673 Shen J, Wang S, Zhang YJ, Kappil M, Wu HC, Kibriya MG, Wang Q, Jasmine F, Ahsan H, Lee PH, Yu MW, Chen CJ, Santella RM Genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in hepatocellular carcinoma Hepatology 55 1799-1808 2012 Cho YH, Shen J, Gammon MD, Zhang YJ, Wang Q, Gonzalez K, Xu X, Bradshaw PT, Teitelbaum SL, Garbowski G, Hibshoosh H, Neugut AI, Chen J, Santella RM. Prognostic significance of gene-specific promoter hypermethylation in breast cancer patients. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 131 197-205 2012 Zhang, Y-J., Wu, H-C., Shen, J., Ahsan, H., Tsai, W.Y., Yang, H.I., Wang, L.Y., Chen, S.Y., Chen, C.J. and Santella, R.M. Prediction of hepatocellular carcinoma by detecting abnormal promoter methylation in serum DNA. Clinical Cancer Research 13 2378-2384 2007 Rossner, P., Gammon, M.D., Terry, M.B., Agrawal, M., Zhang, F.F., Teitelbaum, S.L., Eng, S.M., Gaudet, M.M., Neugut, A.I. and Santella, R.M. Relationship between 15-F2t-isoprostane and 8-oxodeoxyguanosine levels in urine and the risk of breast cancer Cancer Epi. Biomarkers & Prevention 15 639-44 2006 Chen SY, Wang LY, Lunn RM, Tsai WY, Lee PH, Lee CS, Ahsan H, Zhang YJ, Chen CJ, Santella RM Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts in liver tissues of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma cellular and controls Int. J. Cancer 99 14-21 2002 Kennedy, DO, Agrawal, M., Shen, J., Terry, MB, Zhang, FF, Senie, RT, Motykiewicz, G. and Santella, RM DNA repair capacity of sister lymphoblastoid cell lines who do not agree for breast cancer Journal of the National Cancer Institute 97 127-132 2005

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