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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