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OncoLogic™ - A Computer System to Evaluate the Carcinogenic Potential of Chemicals

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New OncoLogic™ Version 8.0 - Released September 2013

OncoLogic™ is a desktop computer program that evaluates the likelihood that a chemical may cause cancer. OncoLogic™ has been peer reviewed, runs on a Windows® PC, and is being released by EPA at no cost, to be available to any researcher or organization wishing to evaluate cancer potential of chemicals. The OncoLogic™ installer is posted at the bottom of this page.

NEW FOR VERSION 8.0 RELEASE: Updates to the system include a new CAS/Name look-up feature under the “Organics SAR” module for approximately 1500 chemicals for which available cancer data can be used directly to create a chemical report. This removes the need to draw the chemical structure for these substances. Additionally, four new “simplified” chemical classes have been added to the “Organics SAR” module including aliphatic alcohols, aliphatic amines, aliphatic carboxylic acids, aliphatic hydrocarbons. Otherwise the existing logic previously available for the other classes in OncoLogic remain unchanged.

New and existing users of OncoLogic 8.0 should report any model logic issues, inconsistencies with previous version outputs, or general software problems to the technical points of contact listed below.

How does OncoLogic™ predict cancer potential of a chemical?

OncoLogic™ predicts cancer-causing potential by:

  1. applying the rules of structure activity relationship (SAR) analysis,

  2. mimicking the decision logic of human experts, and

  3. incorporating knowledge of how chemicals cause cancer in animals and humans.

What is a Structure Activity Relationship (SAR)?

SAR is a technique used by chemists, biologists, and other scientists to correlate the biological activity of a chemical to its structure. When performing SAR analysis, a scientist will group chemical compounds by structural characteristics such as shape, size, chemical arrangement and distribution of functional groups, and analyzes the contribution of each factor to biological activities. Other considerations include the conditions under which humans may be exposed to the chemical in question.

What is an expert system?

An expert system is a computer program that mimics the judgment of experts by following sets of knowledge rules that are based on studies of how chemicals cause cancer in animals and humans. An expert system, like OncoLogic™, asks for chemical and use information from the user and following the knowledge rules incorporated into the system, uses the responses to construct an estimation of the most likely results.

What are the chemical classes evaluated by OncoLogic™?

Currently OncoLogic™ has subsystems that can evaluate fibers, metals, polymers, and more than 48 classes of organic chemicals. If the chemical of interest can not be placed into one of the chemical classes listed, check the Miscellaneous Class or use the Functional Analysis component. These options are explained in greater detail in the OncoLogic™: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) (6 pp, 260 KB). Efforts to expand chemical classes are underway.

Why was OncoLogic™ developed?

OncoLogic™ was developed primarily to provide guidance to industries, regulatory agencies, and the public on how EPA uses SAR analysis to assess the potential of new chemicals to cause cancer. It is a highly useful tool for chemical companies to conduct preliminary reviews during research and development of the cancer-causing potential of chemicals. It can also be effectively used by regulatory agencies to assess the potential cancer concern of existing chemicals for which cancer bioassay data are not available.

What data sources were used to build the Knowledge Rules in OncoLogic™?

Cancer bioassay data from the following sources were used to develop the rule packages:

  1. six-volume series of monographs entitled "Chemical Induction of Cancer";

  2. international Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) monograph series;

  3. U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI)/National Toxicology Program (NTP) technical report series;

  4. U.S. Public Health Service publication series 149 entitled "Survey of Compounds Which Have Been Tested for Carcinogenic Activity"; and

  5. non-classified chemical industry and U.S. EPA research data.

Publicly available scientific literatures and external domain experts were also used or consulted whenever necessary. These options are explained in greater detail in the OncoLogic™: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) (6 pp, 260 KB).

What do I need to know to run OncoLogic™?

A user should be familiar with organic chemistry and know certain characteristics of the chemical of interest including: structure (including subunits present), physical/chemical properties (stability, etc.), biological and mechanistic information, as well as possible routes of exposure. For example, there are specific inputs required for fibers, metals and polymers, and these are explained in greater detail in the OncoLogic™ Users Guide (PDF) (144 pp, 1.36MB). The general public is advised to seek assistance from chemists, carcinogenesis experts, and other environmental health specialists when using OncoLogic™.

How can I receive training on the use and interpretation of OncoLogic™?

The Agency offers hands-on training sessions in the use of its chemical risk screening models, including OncoLogic™, through the Sustainable Futures Program. EPA partners with stakeholders and private sponsors to provide training on a fee-for-service basis. EPA presenters receive no compensation for their time, and fee schedules are generally designed to cover presenter travel, accommodations, and other preparation costs for the workshop. Workshop fees may vary depending on location, length of workshop, and extent of sponsorship by other stakeholders. The dates and locations for these sessions will be posted on the EPA Sustainable Futures Training website, however registration and logistics support will be provided by the individual sponsors for each training session.

For more information on the Sustainable Futures Program or to learn how to become a sponsor or cosponsor of a training event, please contact Kelly Mayo-Bean (email: mayo.kelly@epa.gov or phone: 202-564-7662)

Download OncoLogic™ Version 8.0 (windows-based platform)

Download OncoLogic™ Version 8.0 (9.5MB). Included in the "Help File" within the OncoLogic Program are the Quick Start Tutorial and the OncoLogic™ User Guide, which are also posted below for separate download, along with other documentation to assist users in operation and interpretation of the OncoLogic model.

U.S. EPA Technical Contacts:

Dr. Yintak Woo, U.S. EPA
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
Risk Assessment Division
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460-0001
Phone: 202-564-7603
email: woo.yintak@epa.gov

Kelly E. Mayo-Bean, U.S. EPA
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
Risk Assessment Division
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460-0001
Phone: 202-564-7662
email: mayo.kelly@epa.gov

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