NTP uses ad hoc scientific panels, referred to as special emphasis panels, to provide independent scientific peer review and advice on targeted issues, such as agents of public health concern, new and revised toxicological test methods, and other issues. These panels help ensure transparent, unbiased, and scientifically rigorous input to NTP for its use in making credible decisions about human health hazards, setting research and testing priorities, and evaluating test methods for toxicity screening.
NTP Technical Report Peer-Review Panels
NTP Technical Reports (TRs) are published results of long-term studies, generally two-year rodent toxicology and carcinogenesis studies. NTP convenes external scientific panels to peer review draft TRs at public meetings held at NIEHS. All reviews provide the opportunity for public comment. For each TR, the panel is charged with peer reviewing the scientific and technical elements and presentation of the study, and determining whether the study’s experimental design and conduct support the NTP conclusions regarding the carcinogenic activity of the substance tested. There was one TR meeting in FY 2015.
NTP convened a meeting on June 25, 2015, to peer review the draft TR on pentabromodiphenyl ether mixture (DE-71 (technical grade)). The peer-review panel included individuals with expertise in molecular carcinogenesis, pathology, statistics, toxicology, and reproductive and developmental toxicology. Yun Xie, Ph.D., served as designated federal officer for the meeting.
The meeting was open to the public with time scheduled for oral public comment. The charge to the panel was to (1) review and evaluate the scientific and technical elements of the study and its presentation; and (2) determine whether the study’s experimental design, conduct, and findings support the NTP conclusions regarding the carcinogenic activity and toxicity of the substance tested. The panel agreed with the NTP conclusions in the draft TR. Additional information about peer-review meetings is available here.
NTP Monograph Peer-Review Panels
Monographs are publications on a single, detailed specific topic. There were no monograph review meetings in FY 2015. Additional information about NTP monograph peer-review meetings is available here.
Report on Carcinogens Peer-Review Panels
NTP follows an established, four-part process for preparation of the Report on Carcinogens (RoC). RoC monographs are prepared for each candidate substance selected for review and consist of a cancer evaluation component and a substance profile. NTP convenes external scientific panels to peer review draft RoC monographs. These meetings are open to the public with time scheduled for oral public comment. The panels are charged with commenting on whether the draft cancer evaluation component is technically correct and clearly stated, whether NTP objectively presents and assesses the scientific evidence, and whether the scientific evidence is adequate for applying the listing criteria. For the draft substance profile, panels are charged with commenting on whether the scientific justification presented supports the preliminary NTP policy decision on the RoC listing status.
On July 22, 2015, NTP convened a panel at NIEHS to peer review the draft RoC monograph on cobalt and certain cobalt compounds. The panel voted on the draft level of evidence for carcinogenicity determination, based on the available scientific evidence in experimental animals and human cancer studies, and whether the information cited in the draft substance profile supported The NTP preliminary listing recommendation in the RoC. The review covered the chemical properties and human exposure, cancer studies in experimental animals, metabolism and mechanistic data, human cancer studies, an overall cancer evaluation, and the draft substance profile. Lori White, Ph.D., served as designated federal officer for the peer-review meeting. After the meeting, the input from the panel was considered in finalizing the monograph. Additional information about this meeting and other RoC monograph peer-review meetings is available here.
NTP Expert Panels
NTP expert panels provide independent advice to NTP on agents of public health concern, new and revised toxicological test methods, or other topics. NTP convened an expert panel meeting on May 11-12, 2015, to identify research needs for assessing the safe use of high intakes of folic acid. This meeting was open to the public with time scheduled for oral public comment. The panel was charged to carry out a state-of-science evaluation for four general health effect categories to identify areas for further research. The four health effect categories were (1) cancer, (2) cognition in conjunction with vitamin B12 deficiency, (3) hypersensitivity-related outcomes, and (4) thyroid and diabetes-related outcomes. To address this charge, the expert panel was asked to (1) identify the areas of consistency and areas of uncertainty in the available science, (2) identify research needs based on review of the available science, and (3) propose research approaches for addressing the research needs and gaps in the available science. The expert panel included individuals with expertise in cancer prevention, epidemiology, food science, nutrition, gastroenterology, cardiovascular disease, bio-analytical chemistry, folate, immunotoxicology, biochemistry, and pediatric allergy. The panel was divided into four subpanels according to the four health effect categories and made research recommendations based on the literature reviewed. The full panel agreed with the recommendations of the four subpanels. The expert panel report, final monograph, and other meeting materials can be found here.