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Revised assessment of cancer risk to dichloromethane II. Application of probabilistic methods to cancer risk determinations.An updated PBPK model of methylene chloride (DCM, dichloromethane) carcinogenicity in mice was recently published using Bayesian statistical methods (Marino et al., 2006). In this work, this model was applied to humans, as recommended by Sweeney et al.(2004). Physiological parameters for input into the MCMC analysis were selected from multiple sources reflecting, in each case, the source that was considered to represent the most current scientific evidence for each parameter. Metabolic data for individual subjects from five human studies were combined into a single data set and population values derived using MCSim. These population values were used for calibration of the human model. The PBPK model using the calibrated metabolic parameters was used to perform a cancer risk assessment for DCM, using the same tumor incidence and exposure concentration data relied upon in the current IRIS entry. Unit risks, i.e., the risk of cancer from exposure to 1 microg/m3 over a lifetime, for DCM were estimated using the calibrated human model. The results indicate skewed distributions for liver and lung tumor risks, alone or in combination, with a mean unit risk (per microg/m3) of 1.05 x 10(-9), considering both liver and lung tumors. Adding the distribution of genetic polymorphisms for metabolism to the ultimate carcinogen, the unit risks range from 0 (which is expected given that approximately 20% of the US population is estimated to be nonconjugators) up to a unit risk of 2.70 x 10(-9) at the 95th percentile. The median, or 50th percentile, is 9.33 x 10(-10), which is approximately a factor of 500 lower than the current EPA unit risk of 4.7 x 10(-7) using a previous PBPK model. These values represent the best estimates to date for DCM cancer risk because all available human data sets were used, and a probabilistic methodology was followed.
Revised assessment of cancer risk to dichloromethane: part I Bayesian PBPK and dose-response modeling in mice.The current USEPA cancer risk assessment for dichloromethane (DCM) is based on deterministic physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling involving comparative metabolism of DCM by the GST pathway in the lung and liver of humans and mice. Recent advances in PBPK modeling include probabilistic methods and, in particular, Bayesian inference to quantitatively address variability and uncertainty separately. Although Bayesian analysis of human PBPK models has been published, no such efforts have been reported specifically addressing the mouse, apart from results included in the OSHA final rule on DCM. Certain aspects of the OSHA model, however, are not consistent with current approaches or with the USEPA's current DCM cancer risk assessment. Therefore, Bayesian analysis of the mouse PBPK model and dose-response modeling was undertaken to support development of an improved cancer risk assessment for DCM. A hierarchical population model was developed and prior parameter distributions were selected to reflect parameter values that were considered the most appropriate and best available. Bayesian modeling was conducted using MCSim, a publicly available software program for Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis. Mean posterior values from the calibrated model were used to develop internal dose metrics, i.e., mg DCM metabolized by the GST pathway/L tissue/day in the lung and liver using exposure concentrations and results from the NTP mouse bioassay, consistent with the approach used by the USEPA for its current DCM cancer risk assessment. Internal dose metrics were 3- to 4-fold higher than those that support the current USEPA IRIS assessment. A decrease of similar magnitude was also noted in dose-response modeling results. These results show that the Bayesian PBPK model in the mouse provides an improved basis for a cancer risk assessment of DCM.