Regulatory Research Agencies


Last updated: December 6, 2007

The National Cancer Institue (NCI) was established in 1937 by an Act of Congress to serve as the lead federal agency for cancer research and training. Today, NCI is an operating division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Public Health Service (PHS), both situated within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and is responsible for coordinating the National Cancer Program, which “conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.”


Animal Use Activities

NCI conceived the standardized two-species rodent carcinogenicity bioassay in use today in the late 1960s, and following the US government’s declaration of a “war on cancer” in 1971, this bioassay became the cornerstone of a federal chemical carcinogenicity-testing program at NCI. Following the establishment of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in 1978, the testing program was relocated to NTP headquarters.

More contemporary NCI activities with a bearing on regulatory toxicology include the following:

Alternatives Policies & Actions

Notwithstanding NCI’s requirement that its employees observe federal requirements regarding consideration of alternatives to animal use, specific activity in relation to the 3Rs appears to be limited to the Institute’s membership in the US Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM).