Environ Sci Technol. 2022 Oct 24. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c05872. Online ahead of print.
The benchmark dose (BMD) methodology has significantly advanced the practice of dose-response analysis and created substantial opportunities to enhance the plausibility of BMD estimation by synthesizing dose-response information from different sources. Particularly, integrating existing toxicological information via prior distribution in a Bayesian framework is a promising but not well-studied strategy. The study objective is to identify a plausible way to incorporate toxicological information through informative prior to support BMD estimation using dichotomous data. There are four steps in this study: determine appropriate types of distribution for parameters in common dose-response models, estimate the parameters of the determined distributions, investigate the impact of alternative strategies of prior implementation, and derive endpoint-specific priors to examine how prior-eliciting data affect priors and BMD estimates. A plausible distribution was estimated for each parameter in the common dichotomous dose-response models using a general database. Alternative strategies for implementing informative prior have a limited impact on BMD estimation, but using informative prior can significantly reduce uncertainty in BMD estimation. Endpoint-specific informative priors are substantially different from the general one, highlighting the necessity for guidance on prior elicitation. The study developed a practical way to employ informative prior and laid a foundation for advanced Bayesian BMD modeling.