Systematic Reviews

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

Rapid Reviews

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

Tailored Evaluations

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

Medical Writing

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

Consultancy

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

Sample size

useful links

Protocol Submissions

PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews:

https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/

CAMARADES register of protocols for animal based systematic reviews:

http://www.dcn.ed.ac.uk/camarades/research.html#protocols

BIOPROTOCOL an online peer-reviewed protocol journal for life sciences:

https://bio-protocol.org/about.aspx

OPEN SCIENCE FRAMEWORK an open source software project that facilitates open collaboration in science research.

https://osf.io/


Appraisal / Quality Tools

ROBIS risk of bias in systematic reviews:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.06.005

SYRCLE risk of bias tool for animal study design:

https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-14-43

CASP clinical study design checklists:

https://casp-uk.net/casp-tools-checklists/


Reporting Guidelines

PRISMA guidelines for the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses:

www.prisma-statement.org/

PRISMA guidelines for the reporting of diagnostic accuracy:

http://www.prisma-statement.org/Extensions/DTA.aspx

ARRIVE guidelines for the reporting of in vivo animal studies:

https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/arrive-guidelines

PREPARE guidelines for planning animal experiments:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0023677217724823

BRISQ Biospecimen reporting:

https://doi.org/10.1002/cncy.20147

STREGA Reporting of Genetic Association Studies:

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000022

REMARK reporting recommendations for tumour marker prognostic studies:

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001216

Critical Review of Published Microarray Studies for Cancer Outcome and Guidelines on Statistical Analysis and Reporting:

https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djk018

Standards and Guidelines for the Interpretation and Reporting of Sequence Variants in Cancer:

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoldx.2016.10.002

Human Genome Variation Society guidelines:

http://www.hgvs.org/content/guidelines

EQUATOR NETWORK enhancing the quality and transparency of health research:

https://www.equator-network.org/


Recommendations

GRADE:

A transparent approach to grading quality (or certainty) of evidence and making recommendations:

http://www.gradeworkinggroup.org/


Websites

Open science Mooc:

https://opensciencemooc.eu/resources/

Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions:

http://handbook-5-1.cochrane.org/

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