New approaches to advance cancer hazard evaluations highlighted in commentary
Methodological advancements to address the challenges of traditional cancer hazard evaluations are described in a paper by scientists from the NIEHS Division of Translational Toxicology. According to the authors, new approaches highlighted in recent reports and ongoing evaluations by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) will help to identify and communicate cancer hazards that are contemporary public health concerns.
In December 2021, the congressionally mandated 15th Report on Carcinogens — which was prepared by NTP — was released. New to the report is a Data Exploration Dashboard— an interactive online platform that provides an easy-to-understand visual breakdown of all listed substances. Also, NTP recently published a Cancer Hazard Assessment Report on exposure scenarios associated with circadian disruption: night shift work and light at night. In addition, the program is applying its new approaches to ongoing evaluations.
Such approaches include focusing on real-world exposures, including complex exposures and chemical classes, and advancing methods to address challenges in cancer hazard assessments. For example, NTP is developing more structured approaches to evaluate mechanistic data and incorporating read-across techniques to assess substances that lack adequate human or animal cancer data. And to further promote public health, NTP has provided information on environmental health disparities and disease prevention.
These new directions can increase the transparency and human relevance of cancer hazard evaluations and help inform decision-making at the public health and individual levels. Building on past efforts and incorporating key advancements, NTP aims to continue its contributions to the war on cancer, which was declared 50 years ago, the authors noted.
Citation: Lunn RM, Mehta SS, Jahnke GD, Wang A, Wolfe MS, Berridge BR. 2022. Cancer hazard evaluations for contemporary needs: highlights from new NTP evaluations and methodological advancements. J Natl Cancer Inst; doi:10.1093/jnci/djac164 [Online 27 August 2022].