Toward an evidence-based toxicology

Sebastian Hoffmann, T. Hartung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The increasing demands on toxicology of large-scale risk assessment programmes for chemicals and emerging or expanding areas of chemical use suggest it is timely to review the toxicological toolbox. Like in clinical medicine, where an evidence-based medicine (EBM) is critically reviewing traditional approaches, toxicology has the opportunity to reshape and enlarge its methodology and approaches on the basis of compounded scientific knowledge. Such revision would have to be based on structured reviews of current practice, ie, assessment of test performance characteristics, mechanistic understanding, extended quality assurance, formal validation and the use of integrated testing strategies. This form of revision could optimize the balance between safety, costs and animal welfare, explicitly stating and, where possible, quantifying uncertainties. After a self-critical reassessment of current practices and evaluation of the thus generated information, such an evidence-based toxicology (EBT) promises to make better use of resources and to increase the quality of results, facilitating their interpretation. It shall open up hazard and also risk assessments to new technologies, flexibly accommodating current and future mechanistic understanding. An EBT will be better prepared to answer the continuously growing safety demands of modern societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-513
Number of pages17
JournalHuman and Experimental Toxicology
Volume25
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Evidence-based
  • Relevance
  • Reliability
  • Test assessment
  • Toxicology
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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