Chappell GA, Borghoff SJ, Pham L, Doepker CL, Wikoff DS. 2019. Lack of potential carcinogenicity for sucralose — Systematic evaluation and integration of mechanistic data into the totality of the evidence. Food Chem Toxicol (in press).
Sucralose is widely used as a sugar substitute. Many studies and authoritative reviews have concluded that sucralose is non-carcinogenic, based primarily on animal cancer bioassays and genotoxicity data. To add to the body of knowledge on the potential carcinogenicity of sucralose, a systematic assessment of mechanistic data was conducted. This entailed using a framework developed for the quantitative integration of data related to the proposed key characteristics of carcinogens (KCCs). Data from peer-reviewed literature and the ToxCast/Tox21 database were evaluated using an algorithm that weights data for quality and relevance. The resulting integration demonstrated an overall lack of activity for sucralose across the KCCs, with no “strong” activity observed for any KCC. Almost all data collected demonstrated inactivity, including those conducted in human models. The overall lack of activity in mechanistic data is consistent with findings from animal cancer bioassays. The few instances of activity across the KCC were generally accompanied by limitations in study design in the context of either quality and/or dose and model relevance, highlighted upon integration of the totality of the evidence. The findings from this comprehensive and integrative evaluation of mechanistic data support prior conclusions that sucralose is unlikely to be carcinogenic in humans.