Many preclinical studies aim to provide information on the safety and efficacy of new treatments. In this process, systematic reviews can support the actual implementation of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement), lead to a more evidence-based choice of (animal and alternative) models and create better transparency on quality and translation of preclinical studies. This webinar will explain the methodology and give examples. It is puzzling why it has taken so long before systematic reviews as a methodology have been adopted for preclinical studies. In the clinic, systematic reviews became the routine since 1992, when the Cochrane collaboration was founded. The first preclinical systematic review was published in 2001. The number of preclinical systematic reviews has been on the rise since. Systematic reviews offer great promise for the detection and validation of alternatives to animal studies. In the Netherlands, a recent impact study among researchers having performed preclinical systematic reviews demonstrated widespread positive effects.
Since Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga graduated as a veterinarian (1986) she has been committed to improving quality and relevance of preclinical science and animal welfare. She is now Professor in Evidence-Based Laboratory Animal Science at the Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands, and Honorary SKOU professor at the Department for Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark. She founded SYRCLE (SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory Experimentation; www.syrcle.nl) in 2012, focussing on education, coaching and research in the field of preclinical systematic reviews. From 2005-2017 she was the head of the central animal facility and Professor in Laboratory Animal Science at the Radboudumc. From 1997-2005 she was professor in Laboratory Animal Science and Comparative Medicine and head of the Biomedical Laboratory at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark.