Integration of data across toxicity endpoints for improved safety assessment of chemicals: the example of carcinogenicity assessment

Arch Toxicol. 2021 Jun;95(6):1971-1993. doi: 10.1007/s00204-021-03035-x. Epub 2021 Apr 8.


In view of the need to enhance the assessment of consumer products called for in the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, we developed a methodology for evaluating hazard by combining information across different systemic toxicity endpoints and integrating the information with new approach methodologies. This integrates mechanistic information with a view to avoiding redundant in vivo studies, minimising reliance on apical endpoint tests and ultimately devising efficient testing strategies. Here, we present the application of our methodology to carcinogenicity assessment, mapping the available information from toxicity test methods across endpoints to the key characteristics of carcinogens. Test methods are deconstructed to allow the information they provide to be organised in a systematic way, enabling the description of the toxicity mechanisms leading to the adverse outcome. This integrated approach provides a flexible and resource-efficient means of fully exploiting test methods for which test guidelines are available to fulfil regulatory requirements for systemic toxicity assessment as well as identifying where new methods can be integrated.

Keywords: Chemical safety assessment; Key characteristic; New approach methodology; Systemic toxicity endpoint.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenicity Tests / methods*
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Endpoint Determination
  • European Union
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Toxicity Tests / methods*


  • Carcinogens