Assessment of the mode of action underlying development of forestomach tumors in rodents following oral exposure to ethyl acrylate and relevance to humans

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Chronic repeated gavage dosing of high concentrations of ethyl acrylate (EA) causes forestomach tumors in rats and mice. For two decades, there has been general consensus that these tumors are unique to rodents because of: i) lack of carcinogenicity in other organs, ii) specificity to the forestomach (an organ unique to rodents which humans do not possess), iii) lack of carcinogenicity by other routes of exposure, and iv) obvious site of contact toxicity at carcinogenic doses. In 1986, EA was classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). However, by applying a MOA analyses and human relevance framework assessment, the weight-of-evidence supports a cytotoxic MOA with the following key events: i) bolus delivery of EA to forestomach lumen and subsequent absorption, ii) cytotoxicity likely due to saturation of enzymatic detoxification, iii) chronic regenerative hyperplasia, and iv) spontaneous mutation due to increased cell replication and cell population. Clonal expansion of initiated cells thus results in late onset tumorigenesis. The key events in this ‘wound and healing’ MOA provide high confidence in the MOA as assessed by evolved Bradford-Hill Criteria. The weight-of-evidence supported by the proposed MOA, combined with a unique tissue that does not exist in humans, indicates that EA is highly unlikely to pose a human cancer hazard.HIGHLIGHTSForestomach tumors in rodents were observed after chronic gavage high EA dosing.These tumors are unique to rodents because humans do not possess a forestomach.No tumors were induced in other tissues or by other exposure routes.Mode of action (MOA) analysis supports a non-genotoxic, cytotoxic MOA.HRF assessment indicates that EA is highly unlikely to pose a human cancer hazard.

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