The June 2017 Editor's Choice article is "Next Generation Testing Strategy for Assessment of Genomic Damage: A Conceptual Framework and Considerations" by K.L. Dearfield, B.B. Gollapudi, J.C. Bemis, R.D. Benz, G.R. Douglas, R.K. Elespuru, G.E. Johnson, D.J. Kirkland, M.J. LeBaron, A.P. Li, F. Marchetti, L.H. Pottenger, E. Rorije, J.Y. Tanir, V. Thybaud, J. van Benthem, C.L. Yauk, E. Zeiger, and M. Luijten.
Genotoxicity testing plays an important role in hazard identification. For the past several decades, a battery of standard genotoxicity assays has been utilized for evaluating substances’ mutagenic activity. This standard battery served the regulatory purposes well, particularly when test articles were direct DNA damaging substances. With the advances in biology and biotechnology, regulatory agencies now recognize a need for a paradigm shift in applied genetic toxicology, from a yes/no classification toward a more flexible approach. The new approach should allow for quantitative assessment of a broader diversity of genomic damage and incorporate an understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved in adverse health outcomes.
In their Editor’s Choice article, Dearfield et al. provide a nine-step outline of a new or “next generation” strategy, which they propose as the future direction for genomic damage assessment. The strategy was developed through the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Genetic Toxicology Technical Committee (GTTC) and involved collaboration between leading genetic toxicologists from academia, government, and industry. The views described in this Editor’s Choice article are likely to draw the attention of both administrators and researchers in the field of risk assessment.