Harmonization: Developing Consistent Guidelines for Applying Mode of Action and Dosimetry Information to Cancer and Noncancer Risk Assessment

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The 1983 book, Risk Assessment in the Federal Government: Managing the Process , recommended developing consistent inference guidelines for cancer risk assessment. Over the last 15 years, extensive guidance have been provided for hazard assessment for cancer and other endpoints. However, as noted in several recent reports, much less progress has occurred in developing consistent guidelines for quantitative dose response assessment methodologies. This paper proposes an approach for dose response assessment guided by consideration of mode of action (pharmacodynamics) and tissue dosimetry (pharmacokinetics). As articulated here, this systematic process involves eight steps in which available information is integrated, leading first to quantitative analyses of dose response behaviors in the test species followed by quantitative analyses of relevant human exposures. The process should be equally appropriate for both cancer and noncancer endpoints. The eight steps describe the necessary procedures for incorporating mechanistic data and provide multiple options based upon the mode of action by which the chemical causes the toxicity. Given the range of issues involved in developing such a procedure, we have simply sketched the process, focusing on major approaches for using toxicological data and on major options; many details remain to be filled in. However, consistent with the revised carcinogen risk assessment guidance (USEPA, 1996c), we propose a process that would ultimately utilize biologically based or chemical specific pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models as the backbone of these analyses. In the nearer term, these approaches will be combined with analysis of data using more empirical models including options intended for use in the absence of detailed information. A major emphasis in developing any harmonized process is distinguishing policy decisions from those decisions that are affected by the quality and quantity of toxicological data. Identification of data limitations also identifies areas where further study should reduce uncertainty in the final risk evaluations. A flexible dose response assessment procedure is needed to insure that sound toxicological study results are appropriately used to influence risk management decision-making and to encourage the conduct of toxicological studies oriented toward application for dose response assessments.

Keywords: cancer risk assessment; dose response assessment; noncancer risk assessment

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10807039891284226

Affiliations: 1: K.S. Crump Group, ICF Kaiser, Research Triangle Park, NC 2: K.S. Crump Group, ICF Kaiser, Ruston, LA

Publication date: February 1, 1998

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