Definition: Systematic review is the methodology underpinning all evidence based decision making. It avoids bias and opinion. it is a comprehensive method which aims to identify all evidence relating to a carefully defined research question. All the evidence is judged for quality and the qulaity is taken into consideration whan making conclusions.
Potential deliverables: A written report which includes an executive summary (1-2 page), aims, methodology, results and conclusions. Slide deck to summarise the findings for presentation to your team. Manuscript. We use a traffic light system to grade the validity of the evidence. We highlight areas of concern, where the evidence is robust and indicate where there are evidence gaps
Useful for: This method is the gold standard for any decision making. We identify the best evidence and the evidence gaps; enabling the client to make informed decisions. We specialise in systematic reviews of early stage preclinical studies: translational medicine, precision medicine, genomics, stem cell therapy, immunotherapy and gene therapy. We bring scientific experience and critical systematic review processes to the preparation of landscape and repurposing reviews - highlighting the strengths, weaknesses and evidence gaps in any unexplored field of interest
Timescale: 3 to 12 months
Scoping Reviews or Mapping Reviews
Definition: A type of systematic review that provides a 'map' of the current evidence in a new field of research. It usually identifies themes and outcomes relating to study design (models, interventions, outcomes reported, experimental methods) rather than actual data.
Potential deliverables: A written report which includes an executive summary (1-2 page), aims, methodology, results and conclusions. Slide deck to summarise the findings for presentation to your team. Manuscript.
Useful for: They provide a map of the existing evidence. These aid the planning of research by identifying emerging research and evidence gaps. They are useful for repurposing a drug or identifying the current knowledge base. They can be used to inform the research question for a full systematic review.
Who: The are useful for funding bodies assessing what has already been done and scientists embarking on a new research question to establish what was done before. Investors/IP to judge how novel is the biomedical innovation. Pharma to judge how a product fits in a market, what the evidence base of a competitor is.
Timescale: up to 3 months
Definition: A rapid systematic review to identify key concepts or to deliver a review under time constraints. Thes reviews cannot reproduce the quality of a full systematic review.
Potential deliverables: A written report which includes an executive summary (1-2 page), methodology and results. Slide deck to summarise the findings for presentation to your team. Manuscript.
Useful for: fast mapping exercises. fast summaries of evidence
Timescale: 1 to 3 months
Definition: Completion of single or multiple processes of the systematic review. We aim to be transparent and reproducible.
Potential deliverables: A written report which includes an executive summary (1-2 page), methodology and results. Slide deck to summarise the findings for presentation to your team.
Accelerated methods include:
• No searches are performed, the client provides the data, publications or trial documents (single or multiple)
• Data extraction alone
• Stand alone evaluations of risk of bias or validity or reproducibility
Useful for: Performing the review on a set of studies which are already identified. Evaluations and comparisons of the validity of a set of preclinical models. We can help match the best validated cancer model for your needs. Determining the likely reproducibility of experimental data. For clients interested in PDX cancer models we have existing validations for breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer xenografts
Timescale: 1 week to 3 months
Risk of Bias Evaluation
We can assess preclinical risk of bias:
We can evaluate the likelihood of reproducibility in preclinical and biomedical studies
We can help you perform sample size calculations to improve reproducibility and ensure biological/ clinical effect
Our team work with clients throughout their study to provide a comprehensive service from initial study design through to manuscript preparation
Preparation of manuscripts for publication
Preparation of poster presentations and slide decks
We can help optimise research study design, avoid publication bias and improve adherence to the principles of open science
We are highly qualified, well accomplished researchers with extensive research and publishing expertise in biomedical and clinical fields. Our background in biomedical research and systematic review allows us to provide consultancy in enhanced study design dedicated to improving translation to the clinic
We can advise on the submission of protocols
We can ensure compliance with ARRIVE reporting guidelines
We can improve research project and research question conceptualisation
Outcome measures and threshold considerations
Randomisation, allocation concealment and blinding
PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews:
CAMARADES register of protocols for animal based systematic reviews:
BIOPROTOCOL an online peer-reviewed protocol journal for life sciences:
OPEN SCIENCE FRAMEWORK an open source software project that facilitates open collaboration in science research.
Appraisal / Quality Tools
ROBIS risk of bias in systematic reviews:
SYRCLE risk of bias tool for animal study design:
CASP clinical study design checklists:
PRISMA guidelines for the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses:
PRISMA guidelines for the reporting of diagnostic accuracy:
ARRIVE guidelines for the reporting of in vivo animal studies:
PREPARE guidelines for planning animal experiments:
BRISQ Biospecimen reporting:
STREGA Reporting of Genetic Association Studies:
REMARK reporting recommendations for tumour marker prognostic studies:
Critical Review of Published Microarray Studies for Cancer Outcome and Guidelines on Statistical Analysis and Reporting:
Standards and Guidelines for the Interpretation and Reporting of Sequence Variants in Cancer:
Human Genome Variation Society guidelines:
EQUATOR NETWORK enhancing the quality and transparency of health research:
A transparent approach to grading quality (or certainty) of evidence and making recommendations:
Open science Mooc:
Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions:
There are 4 stages to our process
1 We work with our clients to define the research question
2 We help the client decide whether they require a systematic review or a rapid or scoping review or a tailored evaluation of the evidence
3 We help the client decide what quality tool is required. This could be:
In-house validation tools for model, outcome, marker or tissue validity
The statistical reliability (reproducibility) of the evidence
Published preclinical study risk of bias tools
4 A report is compiled which presents the evidence in a transparent manner. We provide layered evidence; a summary evidence table backed by detailed data and methodology
What you can expect
1 Dedicated Project Manager who will tailor the service to your needs
2 We take time to understand what is important to your project, ensuring this is clearly captured, translated and delivered by our team
3 Regular communication to ensure you are kept fully up to date on project progress
4 Clear and detailed documentation and reporting of all project deliverables