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Environ Health Perspect. 1999 Aug;107 Suppl 4:527-600.

Supplement to the Carcinogenic Potency Database (CPDB): results of animal bioassays published in the general literature in 1993 to 1994 and by the National Toxicology Program in 1995 to 1996.

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Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3202, USA.


The Carcinogenic Potency Database (CPDB) is a systematic and unifying analysis of results of chronic, long-term cancer tests. This paper presents a supplemental plot of the CPDB, including 513 experiments on 157 test compounds published in the general literature in 1993 and 1994 and in Technical Reports of the National Toxicology Program in 1995 and 1996. The plot standardizes the experimental results (whether positive or negative for carcinogenicity), including qualitative data on strain, sex, route of compound administration, target organ, histopathology, and author's opinion and reference to the published paper, as well as quantitative data on carcinogenic potency, statistical significance, tumor incidence, dose-response curve shape, length of experiment, duration of dosing, and dose rate. A numerical description of carcinogenic potency, the TD(subscript)50(/subscript), is estimated for each set of tumor incidence data reported. When added to the data published earlier, the CPDB now includes results of 5,620 experiments on 1,372 chemicals that have been reported in 1,250 published papers and 414 National Cancer Institute/National Toxicology Program Technical Reports. The plot presented here includes detailed analyses of 25 chemicals tested in monkeys for up to 32 years by the National Cancer Institute. Half the rodent carcinogens that were tested in monkeys were not carcinogenic, despite usually strong evidence of carcinogenicity in rodents and/or humans. Our analysis of possible explanatory factors indicates that this result is due in part to the fact that the monkey studies lacked power to detect an effect compared to standard rodent bioassays. Factors that contributed to the lack of power are the small number of animals on test; a stop-exposure protocol for model rodent carcinogens; in a few cases, toxic doses that resulted in stoppage of dosing or termination of the experiment; and in a few cases, low doses administered to monkeys or early termination of the experiment even though the doses were not toxic. Among chemicals carcinogenic in both monkeys and rodents, there is some support for target site concordance, but it is primarily restricted to liver tumors. Potency values are highly correlated between rodents and monkeys. The plot in this paper can be used in conjunction with the earlier results published in the CRC Handbook of Carcinogenic Potency and Genotoxicity Databases [Gold LS, Zeiger E, eds. Boca Raton FL:CRC Press, 1997] and with our web site (, which includes a guide to the plot of the database, a complete description of the numerical index of carcinogenic potency (TD50), and a discussion of the sources of data, the rationale for the inclusion of particular experiments and particular target sites, and the conventions adopted in summarizing the literature. Two summary tables permit easy access to the literature of animal cancer tests by target organ and by chemical. For readers using the CPDB extensively, a combined plot on diskette or other format is available from the first author. It includes all results published earlier and in this paper, ordered alphabetically by chemical. A SAS database is also available.

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