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TECHNOLOGICAL WATCH

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New Test Provides Accurate Measure of DNA Damage from Chemical Compounds

A new biomarker test developed by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and their colleagues can help predict, with up to 90 percent certainty, which chemical compounds can cause DNA damage that could lead to cancer. The study was published early online the week of December 4, 2017, in PNAS.

Current laboratory tests that assess potential toxicity in humans due to exposure to chemical compounds often result in a high number of false-positive findings for agents that can induce DNA damage. Many of these positive results may reflect cellular toxicity at high chemical doses rather than actual genotoxicity (damage to DNA or genes). Such false-positive results often lead to expensive and time-consuming follow-up testing.

The lack of an accurate, rapid and high-throughput test that assesses genotoxicity has been a major bottleneck in the development of new drugs as well as the testing of substances by chemical, cosmetic, and agricultural companies, says Albert J. Fornace Jr., MD, professor in the departments of biochemistry and molecular & cellular biology, oncology and radiation medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and a member of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Read more at Georgetown University Medical Center

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