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Title: Measurements using the alkaline comet assay predict bladder cancer cell radiosensitivity.
Authors: Moneef, M. A.
Sherwood, B. T.
Bowman, Karen Julia
Kockelbergh, R. C.
Symonds, R. P.
Steward, W. P.
Mellon, J. K.
Jones, G. D.
First Published: 15-Dec-2003
Publisher: Cancer Research UK
Citation: British Journal of Cancer, 2003, 89 (12), pp. 2271-2276
Abstract: In the UK, the two main treatments of invasive bladder cancer are radiotherapy or cystectomy. However, approximately 50% of patients undergoing radiotherapy fail to respond. If tumour radiosensitivity could be predicted in advance, it may be possible to improve control rates significantly by selecting for radiotherapy those patients whose tumours are radiosensitive. Additionally, patients who would benefit from surgery would be identified earlier. The alkaline comet assay (ACA) is a sensitive method for the detection of DNA strand break damage in cells. In the present study, using six bladder cancer cell lines of differing radiosensitivities, cell survival was compared to the manifestation of radiogenic DNA damage as assessed by ACA. For all the cell lines, the extent of comet formation strongly correlates with cell killing (R2>0.96), with a greater response being noted in radiosensitive cells. In repair studies, measures of residual damage correlate with survival fraction at 2 Gy (R2>0.96), but for only five of the cell lines. Finally, cells from human bladder tumour biopsies reveal a wide range of predicted radiosensitivies as determined by ACA. Overall, these studies demonstrate ACA to be a good predictive measure of bladder cancer cell radiosensitivity at low dose, with potential clinical application.
DOI Link: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6601333
ISSN: 0007-0920
eISSN: 1532-1827
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: From twelve months after its original publication, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

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