Animal Models in Toxicology

John Budny jabudny at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 15 00:15:27 EST 1996


p.whitehead at dial.pipex.com (Paul Whitehead) wrote:
>Jason Ram <ramjoshi at duke.usask.ca> wrote:
>
>>Well... animal models (e.g., in vitro studies) can help determine whether 
>>certain drugs are worthwhile pursuing as a course of treatment in various 
>>pathological conditions (e.g., cellular damage) brought about when the 
>>system is challenged by toxins (e.g., pesticides).  If data from the 
>>model shows good supporting evidence for the effectiveness of the drug 
>>against the toxin, then the drug can go to the next stage for testing 
>>and evaluation.  Animal models are useful as they usually give good 
>>preliminary indications whether a drug has the potential for its ultimate 
>>use in humans.  
>
>I believe here you are considering pharmacological models, although
>what is toxicology if not exaggerated pharmacology.   Is it not true
>that pharmacological models need to be more reliable than
>toxicological models?  Without reliability, a potentially valuable
>drug may be thrown away due to lack of efficacy.  We already know how
>unreliable whole animal toxicology can be, and then take appropriate
>steps to make that extrapolation to man.
>
>Paul Whitehead BSc CBiol MIBiol DABT
>United Kingdom
>e-mail p.whitehead at dial.pipex.com
>


No I don't believe "pharmacological models need to be more reliable than 
toxicological models".  Toxicological models need to be as reliable as 
pharmacological models; to be sure, toxicological models need to be as 
reliable as they can be.

Having said that, what is "reliability"?  Do you mean reproducibility?  
If so, isn't reproducibility a basic tenet of science?  If a model is not 
reliable, then it isn't a model.

In Whitehead's post in response to Jason Ram, he expresses an interest in 
not wanting to throw away valuable drugs because the pharmacological 
models were insufficient to detect therapeutic value.  Yet, in previous 
posts, he would be willing to lose a few valuable drugs due to regulatory 
caution.  Is there a dichotomous position here?????




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