International Programme on Chemical Safety

Mode of Action Framework (for cancer and non-cancer risk assessment)

In 2001 the IPCS Conceptual Framework for Evaluating an (animal) Mode of Action for Chemical Carcinogenesis was published. This framework provided a generic approach to the principles commonly used for evaluating mode of action. It outlined a list of elements to be considered in analyzing whether available data support a particular mode of action.

In 2006 the Harmonization Project completed work to extend the 2001 Framework to address the issue of human relevance. The IPCS Framework for Analysing the Relevance of a Cancer Mode of Action for Humans, along with three case studies, was published in a Special Issue of Critical Reviews in Toxicology: Volume 36 (10).

Following development of the IPCS Framework for Analysing the Relevance of a Cancer Mode of Action for Humans, IPCS decided to consider whether the framework for cancer could be applied to other end-points/modes of action. IPCS convened an international meeting in Geneva, March 2006, to explore this question. The workshop report has been published, and an article containing the IPCS Framework for Analyzing the Relevance of a Non-Cancer Mode of Action for Humans was published in the February 2008 issue of Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

Both the cancer and non-cancer frameworks have also been published in the Harmonization Project Series.

In 2013 the WHO/IPCS frameworks were consolidated and updated, and published.

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