Are test methods without the use of animals more reliable as far as transferability to human beings is concerned?

Image: O. Cafiero

No, because cell and tissue cultures always only facilitate the investigation of partial aspects of the action of a medicine or a disease process. A single alternative method is not capable of replacing all animal experiments and does not allow reliable transferability to humans. Some effective methods are available, which have made animal testing largely unnecessary in their field, and which are based on the analysis of cell and tissue cultures. But caution should nevertheless be exercised: a test designed to examine, for example, the effect of a substance on cancer cells in cell cultures does not allow a precise inference as to whether this substance has the same effect in the body. Therefore, a study involving animals is often needed after the experiment with cell cultures.