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March 2011

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Alternative testing panel to meet in Bethesda

By Warren Casey
March 2011

The NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM), which is headquartered at NIEHS, is convening an international peer review panel March 29-30 in the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md. The panel will evaluate results from an international validation study of an in vitro test method using a human cell line to detect endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs).

The meeting is free and open to the public. Those wishing to attend the meeting should register online by March 15.

The objective of this validation study, which included laboratories from the U.S., Europe, and Japan, was to assess the accuracy and reliability of the BG1Luc4E2 estrogen receptor transcriptional activation test (BG1Luc ER TA) for the qualitative detection of substances with in vitro human estrogen receptor agonist or antagonist activity.

The peer review panel will evaluate data from the NICEATM-led international study, along with draft recommendations developed by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) on the usefulness and limitations of the BG1Luc ER TA test method for identifying potential EDCs. 

Federal agencies are developing programs to identify and assess the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals, in response to concern about the potential health effects of substances that could interfere with normal endocrine function.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in support of the Food Quality Protection Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act amendments, initiated the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) program, a three-tiered screening approach to assess the potential of pesticides and environmental contaminants to affect the endocrine systems of humans and wildlife. The BG1Luc ER TA test method may be appropriate to meet the ER TA testing requirement in Tier 1 of this program.

(Warren Casey, Ph.D., is the deputy director of NICEATM.)

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