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Integrated approaches to testing and assessment

In this book chapter, we explain how Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment (IATA) offer a means of integrating and translating the data generated by toxicity testing methods, thereby serving as flexible and suitable tools for toxicological decision making in the 21st century. In addition to traditional in vitro and in vivo testing methods, IATA are increasingly incorporating newly developed in vitro systems and measurement technologies such as high throughput screening and high content imaging. Computational approaches are also being used in IATA development, both as a means of generating data (e.g. QSARs), interpreting data (bioinformatics and chemoinformatics), and as a means of integrating multiple sources of data (e.g. expert systems, bayesian models). Decision analytic methods derived from socioeconomic theory can also play a role in developing flexible and optimal IATA solutions. Some of the challenges involved in the development, validation and implementation of IATA are also discussed.