The Comet Assay
A Versatile and Sensitive Technique for the Assessment of DNA Damage and Repair
The Comet Assay is a powerful tool for the assessment of DNA integrity with applications as diverse as cancer research, safety testing of pharmaceuticals and chemicals, environmental and occupational studies, dietary and even fertility research. Because the assay can be adapted to virtually any cell-type from almost any organism, study designs can be created to characterize DNA damage and repair as well as DNA integrity and applied to both the impact of treatments and exposures as well as to endogenous factors. In this webinar two well-known scientists in this field describe recent research applications the comet assay.
Prof. Diana Anderson (University of Bradford): Prof. Anderson and her research team examined differences in the sensitivity to genomic damage of lymphocytes harvested from cancer patients, pre/suspect cancer patients and normal healthy volunteers. They developed a technique in which the cells were exposed to ultra-violet radiation (UVA) and assessed for the resulting levels of DNA damage using the comet assay. They discovered that genomic damage in lymphocytes from cancer patient samples plateaued and did not decrease as UVA intensity decreased. In contrast, lymphocyte response patterns for healthy individuals returned towards control values as UVA intensity decreased. Responses in samples from pre/suspected cancers patients showed intermediate results. Results indicated that characterisation of differences in lymphocyte sensitivity to UVA enabled discrimination between cancer patients, pre/suspect cancer patients and healthy volunteers. This relationship could be used in an assay that functions as a stand-alone test or as a possible adjunct to other tests for cancer diagnosis or screening.
Marie Vasquez (Helix3): At Helix3 we develop new methods and techniques to enhance the efficacy and expand the applicability of safety testing for regulatory submissions. Every day, new drugs, chemicals, medical treatments and consumer products are developed to be more specific, sensitive, and/or complex than their predecessors. Our goal is to develop and conduct GLP research that will help regulators and the industry to reliably assess the genotoxic risk with greater confidence and sensitivity. Our work with different applications of the comet assay including in vivo, acellular, and clinical exposures has helped to identify the cause/mechanism for equivocal or positive in vitro genotoxicity tests. This has led to the re-formulation of less harmful products and the confident progression of good products that might have otherwise been discontinued.
Dr. Mark Browne (Andor Technology): Since its inception in the 1980’s, the Comet Assay rapidly evolved as a valuable tool for research and safety testing. The adoption of the OECD Guidelines “In-Vivo Mammalian Alkaline Comet Assay” (TG489) on September 26th 2014, marks a significant milestone as the assay is now officially embraced for safety testing among regulators responsible for human health and well-being. To mark this important development, Andor Technology is delighted to announce Komet 7 and Komet 7GLP the latest evolutions of Komet solutions first offered by Kinetic Imaging in 1992.
Komet 7 and Komet 7GLP embrace new OECD requirements building on the experience developed over the last 20 years. Komet 7 and 7GLP maintain backward compatibility for hundreds of existing users, while also enabling new possibilities using the latest cameras, light sources and computer systems. Komet 7, now validated with Windows 7, is the most highly referenced comet assay analysis solution in research publications (PubMed and Google Scholar) and has found widespread adoption in research and safety testing. Key features of the new software will be presented.