Testing the Capacity of the NBDRP EX30701
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The National Biological Dosimetry Response Plan (NBDRP) is currently comprised of four core laboratories (Health Canada (HC), Defence Research and Development Canada-Ottawa (DRDC), McMaster University (MU), and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)) that are capable of providing radiation biological dose estimates using the dicentric chromosome assay (DCA). As indicated in the CRTI-06-0146RD charter, the existing biological dosimetry capacity in Canada will be greatly enhanced by conducting ongoing training and exercising of the four core laboratories. This exercise (EX30701) was designed to maintain a vigilant level of DCA training and scoring ability for all new and existing employees. The goal of this exercise was to broaden the expertise base within the core laboratories and assess the current scoring ability of all identified employees within the core laboratories. In this exercise we also plan to test whether using a "DCA Quick Scan" method, devised by AECL, versus the actual "DCA Full Triage" method greatly increases the scoring speed and still maintain a comparable level of accuracy. In addition, the core laboratories standardized and incorporated an additional routine biodosimetry method, the cytokinesis block micronucleus assay (CBMN), into the NBDRP to further expand Canada's rapid response capabilities for screening large volumes of samples. Although not radiation specific, this assay readily detects radiation-induced chromosomal damage, requires less training for scoring and, in a mass casualty scenario, could be better suited than the DCA for screening large volumes of samples.