Evidence based-toxicology – the toolbox of validation for the 21st century?

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Thomas Hartung

Abstract

Validation has become a primary driver of the evolution of toxicological methods. Agreement at OECD level currently requires validation of new approaches for consideration in test guideline development. Several examples of this exist. However, the toxicology in the 21st century movement, prompted by the 2007 NRC/NAS vision document, might lead to a revolutionary change in the toxicological toolbox. The challenge is whether the validation process, as it has been formalized over the last two decades, meets the needs for this paradigm shift.
The concept of evidence-based medicine (EBM) has emerged from clinical medicine, which retrospectively assesses the evidence of adequacy of a given approach. This is not typically done in prospective studies – the equivalent of validation studies might be multicenter randomized trials. Evidently, where such unambiguous evidence is available, no other assessment is necessary. EBM, however, has developed procedures, including meta-analysis, to collect and evaluate all the available evidence where no such definitive study is available. The recent successful introduction of retrospective validation, i.e. the collection and evaluation of existing evidence from various sources, represents a step in this direction. Here, we will explore new toxicological approaches via evidence-based toxicology (EBT).

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How to Cite
Hartung, T. (2010) “Evidence based-toxicology – the toolbox of validation for the 21st century?”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 27(4), pp. 253-263. doi: 10.14573/altex.2010.4.253.
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