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The Integrated Use of Alternative Methods in Toxicological Risk Evaluation

Bas J. Blaauboer, Martin D. Barratt and J. Brian Houston

The ECVAM Task Force on Integrated Testing Strategies was established in December 1996, with the remit of assessing the current status of integrated toxicity testing, and of making proposals regarding the design and implementation of integrated testing strategies. The first step in an integrated testing strategy is usually to determine the chemical functionality of a substance, on the basis of its structure and physicochemical properties. The biokinetic and dynamic behaviours of the chemical in various in vitro systems are then assessed. The various elements are then integrated, in either a parallel or a stepwise fashion, to make predictions of the local or systemic toxicity of the chemical of interest. In this report, a generic scheme for local/systemic toxicity, and a specific scheme for target organ toxicity, are proposed. The scope and limitations of the approaches are discussed. The task force hopes that its proposals will stimulate a discussion on the feasibility of this type of approach and it welcomes any feedback. It is planned that the discussion points will be elaborated in a second task force report.
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Animal Carcinogenicity Studies: 2. Obstacles to Extrapolation of Data to Humans

Andrew Knight, Jarrod Bailey and Jonathan Balcombe

Due to limited human exposure data, risk classification and the consequent regulation of exposure to potential carcinogens has conventionally relied mainly upon animal tests. However, several investigations have revealed animal carcinogenicity data to be lacking in human predictivity. To investigate the reasons for this, we surveyed 160 chemicals possessing animal but not human exposure data within the US Environmental Protection Agency chemicals database, but which had received human carcinogenicity assessments by 1 January 2004. We discovered the use of a wide variety of species, with rodents predominating, and of a wide variety of routes of administration, and that there were effects on a particularly wide variety of organ systems. The likely causes of the poor human predictivity of rodent carcinogenicity bioassays include: 1) the profound discordance of bioassay results between rodent species, strains and genders, and further, between rodents and human beings; 2) the variable, yet substantial, stresses caused by handling and restraint, and the stressful routes of administration common to carcinogenicity bioassays, and their effects on hormonal regulation, immune status and predisposition to carcinogenesis; 3) differences in rates of absorption and transport mechanisms between test routes of administration and other important human routes of exposure; 4) the considerable variability of organ systems in response to carcinogenic insults, both between and within species; and 5) the predisposition of chronic high dose bioassays toward false positive results, due to the overwhelming of physiological defences, and the unnatural elevation of cell division rates during ad libitum feeding studies. Such factors render profoundly difficult any attempts to accurately extrapolate human carcinogenic hazards from animal data.
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Humane Society International’s Global Campaign to End Animal Testing

Troy Seidle

The Research & Toxicology Department of Humane Society International (HSI) operates a multifaceted and science-driven global programme aimed at ending the use of animals in toxicity testing and research. The key strategic objectives include: a) ending cosmetics animal testing worldwide, via the multinational Be Cruelty-Free campaign; b) achieving near-term reductions in animal testing requirements through revision of product sector regulations; and c) advancing humane science by exposing failing animal models of human disease and shifting science funding toward human biology-based research and testing tools fit for the 21st century. HSI was instrumental in ensuring the implementation of the March 2013 European sales ban for newly animal-tested cosmetics, in achieving the June 2013 cosmetics animal testing ban in India as well as major cosmetics regulatory policy shifts in China and South Korea, and in securing precedent-setting reductions in in vivo data requirements for pesticides in the EU through the revision of biocides and plant protection product regulations, among others. HSI is currently working to export
these life-saving measures to more than a dozen industrial and emerging economies.
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