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Validation and regulatory acceptance of new carcinogenicity tests

The 3 Rs concept, which was developed by Russell and Burch in 1959, was implemented into the legal framework in the European Union(EU) for the protection of vertebrate animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes, when Directive 86/609/EEC was adopted in 1986. To reduce or replace animal testing for regulatory purposes, nonanimal tests must be independently validated to prove that they can provide information that is relevant and reliable for hazard prediction in vivo. At the end of the 1980s, no scientific concept existed for the formal validation ofin vitro toxicity tests, so a small group of European and American scientists developed a set of principles for experimental validation, which was accepted internationally by the OECD in 1996. A major breakthrough was the acceptance in the EU of the scientifically validated in vitro toxicity test for phototoxic potential in 2000, which was accepted by the OECD at the worldwide level in 2002. Taking the progress in the development and validation of alternative toxicity tests during the past decade into account, the current concepts of developing alternatives to the standard 2-year rodent bioassay for carcinogenicity testing are discussed



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