Animal Models in Toxicology

DrJackBud drjackbud at aol.com
Wed Feb 14 13:49:26 EST 1996


In article <4fqgsu$rnq at soap.news.pipex.net>, p.whitehead at dial.pipex.com
(Paul Whitehead) writes:

>OK, before the men in white coats arrive, I don't want to overstate my
>case or appear unduly cynical.  We have to live in the real world and
>very few of us have the luxury of operating under a culture of 'pure
>sience and fact'.  I believe that the regulatory systems developed
>post thalidomide have done more good than harm.  The loss of a few
>potentially valuable therapeutic entities is a small price to pay to
>reduce substantially the risk of mass human poisoning.

Someday day Paul, let's discuss the difference between cynicism and
realism; however for now allow me to carry the current concept one step
further.

The reasonable caution, based on uncertainty to avoid potential problems
to toxicity does not eliminate the slight twinge that I feel which is
created by the possibility that potential, but certainly not proven,
overcaution to avert mass catastrophe may eliminate a cure for a large
number of diseased members of the population.  We have over-caution in the
toxicological arena before: safety factors layered upon safety factors,
"carcinogen of the week", every chemical being seen as dimethyl death,
etc.

Perhaps the way to avoid "mass human poisoning" and at the same time not
restrict therapeutic agents to those in need, is a better understanding
and an enlightened application of animal models.  [Now for the challenge
to the participants of this discussion, both active and passive] I
maintain that some of the grief, and you all know what I'm addressing,
that we have had as toxicologists derives from the fact that we don't have
sufficient models to explain our expermental observations; we don't know
enough "mechanism stuff".  "Feed and weigh" has overshadowed "how" and
"why".

Comments, rebuttals, etc from the audience??????



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