In FY 2015, work continued on the NTP Nonneoplastic Lesion Atlas, a Web-based resource that currently contains hundreds, and will eventually contain thousands, of high-quality images and diagnostic guidelines for nonneoplastic lesions in experimental rodent models. While nonneoplastic lesions are not cancerous, nonneoplastic diseases, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, are a major cause of illness and death, and many are thought to have environmental causes. For example, forms of pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that causes lung scarring, have been linked to exposures to inorganic materials such as asbestos, vanadium, cobalt, nickel, beryllium, and sulfur dioxide; and organic materials such as dust from cotton, grain, and wood.
Diagnosing and recording nonneoplastic lesions can be challenging, and terminology and diagnostic strategies can vary among pathologists. The purpose of the NTP Nonneoplastic Lesion Atlas is to standardize the terminology, diagnostic strategy, and recording of nonneoplastic rodent lesions; improve consistency; and facilitate database searches, comparisons between studies, and generation of historical control data for nonneoplastic lesions. The atlas was launched in FY 2014. To date, 47 organs have been completed, and the atlas should be completed in FY 2016.