The Childhood Leukaemia Project: evaluation of a bottom-up international collaboration between scientific health advisory bodies within the EuSANH framework
Within the framework of EuSANH two of the participating SAB’s, the Dutch Health Council (HC) and the Belgian Superior Health Council (SHC), decided to collaborate on a scientific advice regarding the role of environmental factors in the induction of childhood leukaemia.
At the start of the project, a project fiche was written by the secretariat members with the help of experts. A list of necessary expertise was drafted by the secretariats of the SAB’s and 8 experts per country were chosen from shortlists of national top experts, assuring 1 or 2 experts per expertise.
Travel expenses were paid by each SAB for their own experts, the organization of the meetings was assured and paid for by the SHC and the drafting of the document (including a systematic literature review) was assured and paid for by the HC.
As to the setup of the advice, prior to the meetings of the experts, a systematic literature review was conducted by the HC. A small group of experts decided on the search and inclusion/exclusion criteria used for this systematic literature search which was thereafter performed the Dutch branch of the Cochrane Collaboration.
The next step consisted of five meetings of each approximately 4 hours in Antwerp. At the first meeting the methodology and results of the literature search were presented to the group of experts: determining ‘gaps’ and important publications which were missed by the systematic literature review. In the next meetings, spread over one year, draft advices were discussed by the working group.
The advice is currently being finalized and will be peer reviewed by a large group of invited experts from Belgium, The Netherlands and other EuSANH partners on the 3rd of May.