Why Choose Alternative Cancer Treatments (15)

A key issue today…is the prediction of chemical carcinogenesis from animal data to man…The real answer in the final analysis will be human experience.
Coulston and Shubick (Eds), Human Epidemiology and Animal Laboratory Correlations in Chemical Carcinogenesis, Ablex Pub 1980 p1

Welcome to page fifteen of “Why Choose Alternative Cancer Treatment?”. Page 15 and many more pages put the spotlight...

On Differences between species: animal experiment results often not transferable to humans

Introductory note: A recent tragic incidence, highlighting once more the crucial differences between species, happened in January 2016: a drug that had been extensively pre-tested on mice, rats, dogs and monkeys led to the death of a human volunteer in a French drug trial (Biotrial Laboratory in Rennes).

The following is excerpted from the former www.saav.org.za/vivisection_novalue.php

"Because [cancer] creates so much fear and distress, ... the stock response is that 'We must experiment on animals to find the cure for cancer'. However, after so much time, after so many animals have been slaughtered in 'cancer research', and after so much money has been given to cancer research, one naturally wonders why so many people continue to be afflicted by, and die from cancer. In fact this is hardly surprising in view of the animals used in this pseudo-research. When vivisectors induce cancer in laboratory animals (primarily mice and rats), the cancer-causing substance gives different results, not only from species to species, but also from one strain to another of the same species. For example:

  • In the mouse strain C3HF, urethane gives rise to hepatomas, tumors of the reticuloendothelium and lung tumors. And yet in the mouse strain C57B1, urethane causes lymphomas of the thymus. However, in humans, urethane is a good remedy in treating leukemia.
  • Dimethyl-benzo-alpha-anthracene causes lymphomas in mice of the 'Swiss' strain, but produces bronchial adenomas (benign tumors) in the 'Strong A' strain of mice; in other mouse strains, it produces liver tumors (but only in the males).
  • Benzol and arsenic, both carcinogenic in humans, are not so in any of the rodent species used for experiments. 2-naphthyl is carcinogenic for the human bladder, but does not cause any form of cancer in mice.
  • Benzidine causes bladder cancer in human beings, but in mice it causes a neuroma of the acoustic nerve and intestinal and liver cancer.
  • Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) produces liver cancer in the mouse but causes cirrhosis of the liver in rats.
  • 4-amino-diphenyl causes bladder cancer in humans and yet in the mouse it results in mammary cancer.
  • Chloroform (CHCl3) gives rise to liver cancer in the females of various strains of mice, but not in the males.
  • Isonicotine hydrazine (INH), or isoniazid, causes adenomas (benign) and bronchial adenocarcinomas (malignant) in different strains of mice, but nothing similar has been found in human beings despite being used for treating TB over the last forty years.

The fact that there are acknowledgements that the end of cancer is nowhere in sight is further evidence of the fraud and futility of vivisection.

Better Science: Limitations of Animal Tests

© 2004 NEAVS

LD50 Test

The traditional LD50 (lethal dose 50%) test forces animals to ingest chemicals to determine the approximate dose that results in the death of half the test animals. The animals are often force fed by a tube inserted down the esophagus into the stomach. This often causes severe discomfort, and in many cases, extreme and unrelenting pain.

This crude method, using up to 100 animals per test, was introduced in 1927 by British pharmacologist J. W. Trevan. Since then, millions of animals have died excruciating deaths. The Interagency Research Animal Committee admits, “The LD50 tests have become controversial among toxicologists, animal welfare organizations, legislators and the public primarily due to the ethics of using a large number of animals and evaluating only mortality.” (National Institutes of Health Web site)

Recently, the traditional LD50 test has come under scrutiny for its inhumane and unreliable results. In fact, the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency discourage the use of the LD50 test. The Food and Drug Administration does not require its use and the National Toxicology Program does not use this test. These agencies and programs recommend alternative testing such as existing animal data, prior human experience, and/or the Limit test (a test that uses 10 animals in acute toxicity).

The late Dr. Björn Ekwall of the Cytotoxicology Laboratory in Sweden developed a replacement for the LD50 test that measured toxicity at a precision rate of 77% compared to the LD50 rate of 60%-65%. This test, which is more accurate than the animal models, is cruelty-free in that it uses donated human tissue, rather than animals.

Dr. Ekwall stated that, “it would be irresponsible [for companies] not to use these…[alternative] tests to provide extra information for [the] protection of consumers.” (“There Is A Better Way; MEIC Finalizes a Replacement Method for the LD50 Test.” Boston, MA: New England Anti-Vivisection Society, 1999)

The Draize Test

In 1944, John H. Draize, a scientist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, developed an eye irritancy test in rabbits using an irritation scoring system subsequently called the Draize test.

In this test, conscious rabbits are immobilized while chemicals are put directly into their eyes. They are often left in this unbearable situation for as long as a week. Technicians usually inspect the resulting injuries to the eyes after the exposure and subjectively determine an irritancy value for the substance. After the test the rabbits are usually killed and internal effects on the rabbits are examined.

Corrosivity and Dermal Irritation Tests

Skin corrosivity and dermal irritation tests are typically conducted by placing a chemical or chemical mixture on the skins of animals, usually rabbits. The skin is sometimes prepared by removing layers of skin to cause abrasions. These tests can result in skin corrosion and irritation, and often cause severe pain.

The Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods, a committee consisting of representatives from 14 federal regulatory and research agencies, recommends using Corrositex, a non-animal test, instead of painful and subjective animal skin corrosivity tests.

Alternatives to Animal Tests

There is no need for animal tests when superior non-animal tests exist.

Corrositex is a non-animal based test that has been validated by the Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)—a committee that consists of representatives from 14 federal regulatory and research agencies and programs.

Corrositex, manufactured by InVitro International, is an in vitro test that determines chemical corrosivity.

This test replaces the rabbit test of dermal corrosivity. In addition to Corrositex, other commonly used safety testing methods that do not use animals are:

  • Agarose Diffusion Method – This alternative to the Draize eye irritancy test (an animal test) uses human cells.
  • Cell and Tissue Cultures – Cells or tissues can be obtained from human volunteers, surgical operations, biopsies and post-mortem specimens, and used for in vitro studies. Some cells can be immortalized to form cell lines that provide a constant supply of identical test material.
  • Clinical Studies – Carefully managed clinical trials provide information about the safety of certain products.
  • EpiDerm and SkinEthics – These are three-dimensional human skin equivalent systems. EpiDerm Corrosivity Test (manufactured by MatTek of Ashland, Massachusetts) has been validated by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) as an in vitro alternative corrosivity test and is currently undergoing validation trials by ICCVAM.
  • EpiOcular – This is a three-dimensional human ocular tissue equivalent system which mimics characteristics of the epithelium of the eye.
  • Irritection Assay System – Manufactured by InVitro International, this is a standardized, quantitative in vitro test method that can be employed to detect, rank, and predict the ocular and/or dermal irritation potential of cosmetics, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, and chemical raw materials. This advanced technology enhances and replaces InVitro International’s earlier Eytex and Skintex products.
  • Human Keratinocyte/Neutral Red Bioassay – Cells that are representative of the eye and skin epithelium and human cells that are derived from donors.

Better Science: Benefits of Using Non-Animal Tests

© 2004 NEAVS

“There is no doubt that the best test species for man is man. This is based on the fact that it is not possible to extrapolate animal data directly to man, due to interspecies variation in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.”
Dr. MacLennan and Dr. Amos, Clinical Sciences Research Ltd., UK, Cosmetics and Toiletries Manufacturers and Suppliers, 1990; XVII:24

Alternative Scientific Tests are Often More Reliable than Animal Tests

Because animal systems are vastly different from human systems, animal experimentation can be very inaccurate and potentially dangerous to humans. For instance, experiments on rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, monkeys, and baboons revealed no link between glass fibers and cancer. Only after human studies correlated the two did the Occupational Safety and Health Administration label it as carcinogenic.

The late Dr. Björn Ekwall of the Cytotoxicology Laboratory in Sweden developed a replacement for the LD50 test (an animal test) that measured toxicity at a precision rate of 77% compared to the LD50 rate of 60%-65%. This test, which is more accurate than the animal models, is cruelty-free in that it uses donated human tissue, rather than animals. Dr. Ekwall stated that, “it would be irresponsible [for companies] not to use these…[alternative] tests to provide extra information for [the] protection of consumers.” (“There Is A Better Way; MEIC Finalizes a Replacement Method for the LD50 Test.” Boston, MA: New England Anti-Vivisection Society, 1999)

“Generally, the variability of in vivo (animal) methods is greater than in vitro (non-animal) methods because of the wider degree of genetic and physiological diversity among whole animals.” (Validation and Regulatory Acceptance of Toxicological Test Methods: A Report of the ad hoc Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods, March 1997)

“There is no doubt that the best test species for man is man. This is based on the fact that it is not possible to extrapolate animal data directly to man, due to interspecies variation in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.” (Dr. MacLennan and Dr. Amos, Clinical Sciences Research Ltd., UK, Cosmetics and Toiletries Manufacturers and Suppliers, 1990; XVII:24)

Non-Animal Tests are More Cost Effective and Practical

Since companies are not currently required to document the number of rats, mice, and birds used in their experiments, it is difficult to do a cost comparison between animal and non-animal tests. However, we know that animal-based tests cost much more than just the cost of purchasing animals. Experiments can require cages, syringes, needles, specialized surgical equipment, food, watering devices, chemicals, stereotactic equipment, etc. – all contributing to significant cost increases.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Animal tests not only lack formal validation and generate uncertainties associated with their extrapolation to humans, they also have practical problems. Some take years to complete and/or are very expensive. For example, the standard rodent bioassay for assessing carcinogenicity takes two years to conduct and costs more than a million dollars.”

InVitro International’s Corrositex can provide a corrosivity determination in as little as three minutes to four hours, unlike animal testing that often takes two to six weeks. In addition, Corrositex costs approximately $200 whereas an animal test would cost $1,200 - $1,800, according to Christopher Byrnes in Our Animal Wards. Users of Corrositex can also save on shipping charges. According to InVitro International, one customer saved up to $50,000 annually in shipping costs for a single compound. Additional cost savings are found in the areas of workplace safety.

Cruelty-Free Products are More Environmentally Friendly

Animal-tested products create unnecessary and harmful environmental waste and pollution. Millions of animals in toxicity testing are bred, used, and ultimately disposed of as pathogenic or hazardous waste. The process of manufacturing cruelty-free products, on the other hand, is not damaging in this regard since it does not use animals and therefore does not create such waste.

The Ethical Science and Education Coalition’s (ESEC’s) research has not found any reported environmental hazards from using non-animal tests for safety. Since some of the non-animal tests use computers, the improper disposal of computer monitors could pose an environmental hazard owing to the lead, mercury, barium, cadmium and phosphorous in the cathode ray tube (CRT).

However, last year Massachusetts became the first state to ban CRTs in public landfills and the proper disposal and recycling of CRTs should not pose a hazard. Additionally, since most companies would most likely own computers anyway, the use of computerized non-animal tests would not increase the number of computers.

November 2001

About the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS)

NEAVS' Mission

The New England Anti-Vivisection Society, founded in 1895, works to expose and replace animal experiments in laboratories and classrooms with ethically and scientifically responsible modern research methods and to protect human beings who may be subjected to such experiments.

NEAVS advocates for the protection of animals through public outreach efforts and publications, through education programs designed to promote greater compassion and respect for life, and through the support of legislative initiatives and litigation intended for the protection of animals.

Among other things, NEAV provides information on Benefits of Non-Animal Tests | Xenotransplants | Animal Welfare Act | Limitations | Non-Animal Product Safety Test Alternatives, Cruelty-Free Living and Programs & Campaigns.

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