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Cancer Biology, Toxicology and Alternative Methods Development Go Hand-in-Hand
Link to Journal Abstract
Toxicological research faces the challenge of integrating knowledge from diverse fields and novel technological developments generally in the biological and medical sciences. We discuss herein the fact that the multiple facets of cancer research, including discovery related to mechanisms, treatment and diagnosis, overlap many up and coming interest areas in toxicology, including the need for improved methods and analysis tools. Common to both disciplines, in vitro and in silico methods serve as alternative investigation routes to animal studies. Knowledge on cancer development helps in understanding the relevance of chemical toxicity studies in cell models, and many bioinformatics-based cancer biomarker discovery tools are also applicable to computational toxicology. Robotics-aided, cell-based, high-throughput screening, microscale immunostaining techniques and gene expression profiling analyses are common tools in cancer research, and when sequentially combined, form a tiered approach to structured safety evaluation of thousands of environmental agents, novel chemicals or engineered nanomaterials. Comprehensive tumour data collections in databases have been translated into clinically useful data, and this concept serves as template for computer-driven evaluation of toxicity data into meaningful results. Future ‘cancer research-inspired knowledge management’ of toxicological data will aid the translation of basic discovery results and chemicals- and materials-testing data to information relevant to human health and environmental safety.
A constantly increasing number of chemicals and engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) emphasize the need of applying novel tools and screening technologies outside of the standard, both lengthy and expensive, rodent toxicological tests traditionally used in such work. The authors argue in this review that the central aims of systems toxicology research can be promoted by making use of data analysis solutions and databases developed for data-rich disciplines such as cancer research, including both high-throughput screening (HTS) and high-content screening (HCS) techniques.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Computational and System Modeling
Risk Exposure Group
Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 115(1): 50-58 (July 2014)
Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology
Kohonen P, Ceder R, Smit I, Hongisto V, Myatt G, Hardy B, Spjuth O, Grafstrom R
Last updated on July 1, 2014
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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