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Assessing the quality of phase I clinical trial abstracts
Date:10/21/2008

Geneva, Switzerland: Researchers have developed a method of assessing the quality of phase I clinical trial abstracts submitted to two different oncology conferences: EORTC-NCI-AACR (ENA) [1] and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The results, presented on Thursday (23 October) at the 20th ENA Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Geneva, show there is room for improvement and the researchers suggest authors of conference abstracts should adopt guidelines for reporting phase I clinical trials.

Dr Jeremy Ho, an internal medicine resident under the supervision of associate professor Dr Lillian Siu at the Princess Margaret Hospital (Toronto, Canada), had worked with colleagues to develop a quality score for abstracts based on an electronic survey of experts. They had used it to measure the quality of 1,683 phase I abstracts published in the ASCO Annual Proceedings from 1997 to 2006, and then they used the same method to measure the quality of 304 abstracts presented at the ENA symposia from 2003-2007.

When they compared abstracts on phase I trials from the period where there was an overlap between the two conferences (2003-2006), they found that the mean average quality score for the 229 ENA abstracts was 69.6% compared to 64.5% for the 713 ASCO abstracts.

Dr Ho said: "ASCO is a much bigger meeting than ENA, with different objectives, scope and audience. Our study is not meant to be a direct comparison to criticise the quality of abstracts submitted to either meeting. The data enable us to gain insight on areas where improvements in the quality of phase I trial abstract reporting can be made, regardless of the meeting.

"The slightly higher quality score for the ENA abstracts is probably due to a higher figure for the maximum number of characters allowed per abstract (2,500 for ENA and 2,000 for ASCO), an allowance for updating previously presented data, and the more specialised anti-cancer drug de
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
41-227-612-105
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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