Use of short-term test systems for the prediction of the hazard represented by potential chemical carcinogens

Larry Ronald Glass, The University of Texas School of Public Health


It has been hypothesized that results from the short term bioassays will ultimately provide information that will be useful for human health hazard assessment. Although toxicologic test systems have become increasingly refined, to date, no investigator has been able to provide qualitative or quantitative methods which would support the use of short term tests in this capacity. Historically, the validity of the short term tests have been assessed using the framework of the epidemiologic/medical screens. In this context, the results of the carcinogen (long term) bioassay is generally used as the standard. However, this approach is widely recognized as being biased and, because it employs qualitative data, cannot be used in the setting of priorities. In contrast, the goal of this research was to address the problem of evaluating the utility of the short term tests for hazard assessment using an alternative method of investigation. Chemical carcinogens were selected from the list of carcinogens published by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC). Tumorigenicity and mutagenicity data on fifty-two chemicals were obtained from the Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) and were analyzed using a relative potency approach. The relative potency framework allows for the standardization of data "relative" to a reference compound. To avoid any bias associated with the choice of the reference compound, fourteen different compounds were used. The data were evaluated in a format which allowed for a comparison of the ranking of the mutagenic relative potencies of the compounds (as estimated using short term data) vs. the ranking of the tumorigenic relative potencies (as estimated from the chronic bioassays). The results were statistically significant (p $<$.05) for data standardized to thirteen of the fourteen reference compounds. Although this was a preliminary investigation, it offers evidence that the short term test systems may be of utility in ranking the hazards represented by chemicals which may be human carcinogens.

Subject Area

Public health|Pharmacology

Recommended Citation

Glass, Larry Ronald, "Use of short-term test systems for the prediction of the hazard represented by potential chemical carcinogens" (1987). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8809927.