EBTC's Primer on Systematic Reviews in Toxicology summarizes current proposed approaches to adapting systematic review methods to chemical risk research, identifying commonalities and how remaining challenges could potentially be overcome.
Interest from government institutions from both sides of the Atlantic, such as the European Food Safety Authority and the US National Toxicology Program, in applying systematic review methodology to toxicological questions has naturally focused attention on the specific federal and/or regulatory mandates within which these institutions work.
While the work of these organizations has triggered the adoption and adaptation of systematic review approaches as a tool for conducting evidence-based assessments, EBTC also identified a need for a general introduction to systematic reviews for the broader toxicology community.
The result is a primer that is intended to serve as a starting point for toxicologists interested in understanding or conducting systematic reviews. While not a manual or handbook, sufficient detail is provided to allow basic understanding of the principles, process, and resources required to conduct a systematic review.
The application of systematic reviews in toxicology is still in its early days and will continue to evolve. In particular, many methodological aspects are being discussed and consensus still needs to be found. The primer summarizes current proposed approaches, identifying commonalities to introduce a common terminology and to highlight the challenges ahead