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JRC launches the EURL ECVAM Genotoxicity & Carcinogenicity Database of Ames positive chemicals

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Dec 12, 2014
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A new JRC resource for predictive toxicology

The EURL ECVAM Genotoxicity & Carcinogenicity Consolidated database is built on curated genotoxicity and carcinogenicity data for 726 Ames positive chemicals compiled from a variety of sources and is intended to aid in the development and evaluation of alternative approaches to animal testing. It has been developed by EURL ECVAM (the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternative to Animal Testing), part of the European Commission Joint Research Centre.

EURL ECVAM has already used the database to evaluate the predictivity of the in vitro Ames test for in vivo genotoxicity and carcinogenicity when used alone or in combination with in vitro assays based on mammalian cells, and for a better characterisation of those cases where the Ames test leads to misleading ('false positive') results. Results of this study have just been published in the Journal of Mutation Research (Volumes 775–776, December 2014, Pages 69–80). The database is also linked to two other JRC databases, CHEList and CHemAgora, which provide supplementary information on the Ames positive chemicals.  

The generation of such a consolidated database on genotoxicity and carcinogenicity has been demanding in terms of time and effort in order to extract relevant data spread across several databases and to compile them in a harmonised format. Moreover, inconsistencies (e.g. contradictory data derived from different sources) and poor data quality needed to be addressed through rigorous curation which included expert peer review. This investment has led to the public release of a powerful resource for developing and evaluating alternative approaches to animal testing for genotoxicity and carcinogenicity assessment of chemicals.

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Image: Composition of a) Bacterial isolation onto plate, b) Karyotype, c) DNA damage during replication; all reproduced from 'Servier Medical Art' by Servier (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License).