International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Summaries & Evaluations


VOL.: 26 (1981) (p. 293)

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Experimental data

Prednisone was tested in mice and rats by intraperitoneal administration. Little or no carcinogenic effect was observed, but the studies suffered from limitations in design and reporting.

Prednisone can induce teratogenic effects (predominantly cleft palate) in rodents. The available data do not indicate that the agent produces mutations or chromosomal damage.

5.2 Human data

Prednisone is a common anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agent frequently used in the therapy of a great variety of non-neoplastic and neoplastic conditions.

Use of prednisone during pregnancy may have a significant effect on reducing birth weight. The data are not sufficient to evaluate whether this drug can induce teratogenic effects in humans. There are no data available indicating that prednisone is mutagenic or clastogenic.

In view of its wide use, the many references to previous administration of prednisone in patients with cancer are to be expected by chance alone. There is no epidemiological evidence suggesting an etiological relationship between prednisone and neoplasia.

5.3 Evaluation

The available data from studies in experimental animals and in humans were inadequate to evaluate the carcinogenicity of prednisone to humans.

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Subsequent evaluation: Suppl. 7 (1987)

Last updated: 8 April 1998

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Prednisone  (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Supplement7, 1987)