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The abundance and complexity of oxidative damage to cellular DNA has been well recognised since the pioneering studies by Bruce Ames decades ago. Nevertheless, every year reveals novel and fascinating aspects of the chemistry and repair of hydrolytic and oxidative lesions, including complex DNA strand breaks and base alterations. More information is needed about the relative abundance under different conditions of chemically intriguing intranuclear DNA cross links, such as cyclopurine deoxynucleosides and DNA protein covalent adducts. The clarification and quantification of these forms of endogenous DNA damage will be essential for progress in modern radiobiology, leading to improvements in radiotherapy which remains a major and important strategy for the treatment of many human cancers.