From alternative methods to a new toxicology

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Mechanistic toxicology has evolved by relying, to a large extent, on methodologies that substitute or complement traditional animal tests. The biotechnology and informatics revolutions of the last decades have made such technologies broadly available and useful, but regulatory toxicology has been slow to embrace these new approaches. Major validation efforts, however, have delivered the evidence that new approaches do not lower safety standards and can be integrated into regulatory safety assessments. Particularly in the EU, political pressures, such as the REACH legislation and the 7th Amendment to the cosmetic legislation, have prompted the need of new approaches. In the US, the NRC vision report calling for a toxicology for the 21st century (and its most recent adaptation by EPA for their toxicity testing strategy) have initiated a debate about how to create a novel approach based on human cell cultures, lower species, high-throughput testing, and modeling. Lessons learned from the development, validation, and acceptance of alternative methods support the creation of a new approach based on identified toxicity pathways. Conceptual steering and an objective assessment of current practices by evidence-based toxicology (EBT) are required. EBT is modeled on evidence-based medicine, which has demonstrated that rigorous systematic reviews of current practices and meta-analyses of studies provide powerful tools to provide health care professionals and patients with the current best scientific evidence. Similarly, a portal for high-quality reviews of toxicological approaches and tools for the quantitative meta-analyses of data promise to serve as door opener for a new regulatory toxicology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-349
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Volume77
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

Keywords

  • Alternative methods
  • Animal testing
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Omics technologies
  • Toxicology
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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