Comet Assay in Cancer Chemoprevention

  • Raffaela SantoroEmail author
  • Maria Ferraiuolo
  • Gian Paolo Morgano
  • Paola Muti
  • Sabrina Strano
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1379)


The comet assay can be useful in monitoring DNA damage in single cells caused by exposure to genotoxic agents, such as those causing air, water, and soil pollution (e.g., pesticides, dioxins, electromagnetic fields) and chemo- and radiotherapy in cancer patients, or in the assessment of genoprotective effects of chemopreventive molecules. Therefore, it has particular importance in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology, and in both environmental and human biomonitoring. It allows the detection of single strand breaks as well as double-strand breaks and can be used in both normal and cancer cells. Here we describe the alkali method for comet assay, which allows to detect both single- and double-strand DNA breaks.

Key words

Comet assay DNA damage DNA repair Single-cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) Genotoxic stress Double-strand breaks (DSB) Single-strand breaks (SSB) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raffaela Santoro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Ferraiuolo
    • 1
  • Gian Paolo Morgano
    • 2
  • Paola Muti
    • 3
  • Sabrina Strano
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Molecular Chemoprevention Unit, Molecular Medicine AreaRegina Elena National Cancer InstituteRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Oncology, Juravinski Cancer CenterMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Molecular Cancer Chemoprevention Unit, Molecular Medicine DepartmentRegina Elena National Cancer InstituteRomeItaly
  5. 5.Department of OncologyJuravinski Cancer Center-McMaster University HamiltonHamiltonCanada

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