Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

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In vitro test methods are used to refine, reduce and replace animal testing© EU, 2012

EURL ECVAM issues recommendation on three alternative-to-animal testing methods for carcinogenicity


On 14 March 2011, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM), hosted by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), issued a recommendation concerning three in vitro test methods for assessment of the carcinogenic potential of chemical substances. In conjunction with other available data, the test methods can be used to decide whether it is necessary to carry out animal testing for carcinogenicity (cancer bioassay) in the context of EU legislation.

They therefore have the potential to reduce and replace testing on animals. The three in vitro cell transformation assays (CTA), based on the use of cells originated from mouse and hamsters, model several stages of the cancer development process. The recommendation concludes that these methods can partially replace the currently used rodent carcinogenicity OECD Test Guidelines 451 and 453 which can lead to a reduction of laboratory animals and the time for toxicity testing needed.

EURL ECVAM's study of the three test methods was peer reviewed by the EURL's Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC), and the recommendation underwent public consultation. The EURL ECVAM forwarded the results to the OECD for potential inclusion into the OECD Test Guidelines and subsequent international regulatory acceptance.




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