Long ME. Predicting carcinogenicity in humans: the need to supplement animal-based toxicology. AATEX 2008; 14(Spl. Issue): 553-9. Journal Link ABSTRACT
Traditional chemical carcinogenesis testing employs a 2-year rodent bioassay with nearly 900 animals for each chemical evaluation. In the interest of reducing, refining and replacing animals in testing, there is an immediate need for alternative methods of testing for carcinogenic compounds. Data analysis indicates human carcinogens may be detected as high as 90% but as low as 50% of the time when using Lifetime Rodent Bioassays (LRBs), but this was increased to 100% using Syrian Hamster Embryo (SHE) cells. The in vitro micronucleus assay (MN) can be done with human lymphocytes and has a positive predictive value of 85% for rodent carcinogens. Studies have also shown that the Ames, MLA and MN assay may be used in a battery to increase the sensitivity of carcinogen detection to over 90%. These results as well as decreased cost and test time make these in vitro assays excellent tests for preliminary screening tests for carcinogens, decreasing the number of animals used in U.S. regulation-required LRBs. Inclusion of these tests on a regular basis will help develop a more complete toxicological database providing another source of data for risk assessment purposes, allowing for better protection of the public while advancing humane science.