Navigation Links
Biased reporting found in cancer prognostic studies

Selective reporting biases may taint many published studies of so-called prognostic factors--biologic or genetic markers that may predict how a patient may fare during or after treatment, according to a new study in the July 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

In recent years, researchers have raced to discover and publish papers on prognostic factors for cancer and other diseases. For example, at least 116 published studies alone have focused on a single tumor suppressor protein (TP53) that may predict the outcome of a patient with head and neck cancer. As researchers attempt to make sense of the growing mountains of information, some are beginning to question the validity and possible biases in many of the studies.

To examine the question of selective reporting bias, Panayiotis A. Kyzas and colleagues from the University of Ioannina in Greece analyzed information from studies that investigated the association between TP53 and mortality or survival rates. They collected three levels of information about the studies. The first level included studies that were indexed in the scientific databases MEDLINE and EMBASE using the key words "mortality" or "survival." The other two levels of collected information include published studies not indexed under "mortality" or "survival", and unpublished data retrieved from researchers.

The authors found that the association between TP53 status and head and neck cancer mortality weakened as they expanded their analyses from the 18 published and indexed studies alone to include the 13 studies with published data only. The association vanished after they added in the unpublished data from 11 studies. Additionally, 72% of 18 published meta-analyses on prognostic factors for various cancers did not use the same standard end point definitions, and 89% of them failed to retrieve all of the data from the individual studies, instead including only a sample. Both of these details may have helped to fabricate the strong prognostic factor/cancer association in these studies, according to the authors.

"These biases may create a spurious knowledge base of cancer predictors that may be of no use and may be potentially harmful," conclude the authors. However, they caution that their study has several limitations, including the fact that a lot of information could not be retrieved, making it impossible to determine the true nature of the biases.

"We believe that this study provides the most compelling evidence yet that the published prognostic literature is a serious distortion of the truth," write Lisa M. McShane, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, and colleagues, in an accompanying editorial. They call for more transparent reporting, better study design, appropriate analysis methods, more complete data collection, a requirement to make all data available, funding for collecting and annotating data, as well as a needed cultural change within the field of tumor marker research.

# Article: Kyzas PA, Loizou KT, Ioannidis JPA, Selective Reporting Biases in Cancer Prognostic Factor Studies. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:1043?5.
# Editorial: McShane LM, Altman DG, Sauerbrei W, Identification of Clinically Useful Cancer Progostic Factors: What Are We Missing? J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:1023?5.


Source:Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Related biology news :

1. Novel live reporting system to track cells
2. Careless reporting on HIV could cost lives
3. New component of the brakes on nerve regeneration found
4. Strongest proof yet found for prion hypothesis
5. A puzzle piece found in unraveling the wiring of the brain
6. New World founders small in number
7. Norovirus found to cause travelers diarrhea
8. Pair of cancer genes found to drive both cell migration and division
9. Alien woodwasp, threat to US pine trees, found in N.Y.
10. Achilles heel of the herpes virus possibly found
11. Purdue scientists may have found key to halting spinal cord damage
Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/9/2016)... , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... it comes to expanding freedom for high net worth ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there is still ... system could ever duplicate sealing your deal with a ... second passports by taking advantage of citizenship via investment ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform with ... ) The integration will ... to access and transact across channels. Using this ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... ,The global gait biometrics market is expected to ... period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple ... used to compute factors that are not or ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight Medical ... to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product introductions, ... strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to market. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Liquid Biotech USA , ... Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ... cancer patients.  The funding will be used to ... clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety ... employed to support the design of a therapeutic, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including ... two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is ... "In certain areas there ... common economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use ... 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent ...
Breaking Biology Technology: