The alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay can be combined with fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) methodology in order to investigate the localisation of specific gene domains within an individual cell. The number and position of the fluorescent signal(s) provides information about the relative damage and subsequent repair that is occurring in the targeted gene domain(s). In this study, we have optimised the comet-FISH assay to detect and compare DNA damage and repair in the p53 and hTERT gene regions of bladder cancer cell-lines RT4 and RT112, normal fibroblasts and Cockayne Syndrome (CS) fibroblasts following γ-radiation. Cells were exposed to 5Gy γ-radiation and repair followed for up to 60 minutes. At each repair time-point, the number and location of p53 and... hTERT hybridisation spots was recorded in addition to standard comet measurements. In bladder cancer cell-lines and normal fibroblasts, the p53 gene region was found to be rapidly repaired relative to the hTERT gene region and the overall genome, a phenomenon that appeared to be independent of hTERT transcriptional activity. However, in the CS fibroblasts, which are defective in transcription coupled repair (TCR), this rapid repair of the p53 gene region was not observed when compared to both the hTERT gene region and the overall genome, proving the assay can detect variations in DNA repair in the same gene. In conclusion, we propose that the comet-FISH assay is a sensitive and rapid method for detecting differences in DNA damage and repair between different gene regions in individual cells in response to radiation. We suggest this increases its potential for measuring radiosensitivity in cells and may therefore have value in a clinical setting.