Navigation Links
Most Cancer Treatment Studies Aren't Published, Study Finds

Concern Raised about 'Cancer Publication Bias'

DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Less than 20 percent of registered clinical trials of cancer treatment are eventually published in medical journals, according to a study published online today by the journal "The Oncologist."

(LOGO: )

Drs. Scott Ramsey and John Scoggins of University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, searched the National Institutes of Health's registry to identify 2,028 registered research studies of cancer treatment. Major medical journals now require that all studies considered for publication be registered in a publicly accessible database like .

A subsequent search of the National Library of Medicine's PubMed database showed that just 17.6 percent of the trials were eventually published in peer-reviewed medical journals. "We find that less than 1 in 5 completed trials registered since the inception of are listed in the registry or PubMed as published manuscripts," Drs. Ramsey and Scoggins write.

The publication rate was particularly low for "industry-sponsored" studies, such as those funded by pharmaceutical companies -- just 5.9 percent, compared to 59 percent for studies sponsored by collaborative research networks.

Of published studies, nearly two-thirds had "positive" results-the study treatment worked as hoped. The remaining one-third had "negative" results -- the outcome was disappointing or did not merit further consideration of the tested treatment.

This finding raises concern about "publication bias" in cancer treatment trials. The researchers suspect that the rate of negative results is much higher in the studies that have gone unpublished. Drs. Ramsey and Scoggins write, "It is likely that many unpublished studies contain important information that could influence future research and present practice policy."

There are several reasons why registered trials may not be published. Some trials may fail to meet recruitment or follow-up goals. If the trial is completed and the results are negative, researchers may feel that negative studies do little to advance scientific understanding, or to enhance their professional reputation. Sponsors may not encourage researchers to publish negative results. For their part, medical journal editors may be less enthusiastic about negative studies.

However, publication of negative studies is important for several reasons -- not only to avoid repeating negative trials, but also for what can be learned from the lack of response. "Unpublished trials may have special importance in oncology, due to the toxicity and/or expense of many therapies," the researchers add. The fact that so much cancer research goes unpublished raises concerns about the completeness of available information on present and future cancer treatments.

A pair of accompanying editorials comment on the underpublication of cancer treatment studies, and suggest some approaches to addressing the problem. Dr. James H. Doroshow of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports on efforts to develop a database of administrative and outcomes data for all studies performed at NCI-supported institutions.

Drs. Gregory A. Curt and Bruce A. Chabner, Senior Editor and Editor-in-Chief of "The Oncologist," echo the call for increased NCI involvement in ensuring publication of funded studies. Meanwhile, the editors of "The Oncologist" are considering publication of a new, peer-reviewed, fully searchable venue for cancer treatment studies that would otherwise go unpublished. "There is a need for a new venue for publishing all well-executed trials that fail to meet positive endpoints: 'negative' in a sense, but valuable nonetheless," Dr. Curt comments.

The article entitled "Practicing on the Tip of an Information Iceberg? Evidence of Underpublication of Registered Clinical Trials in Oncology," and the accompanying editorials, to be published in the September issue of "The Oncologist," are freely available online at:

(article by Drs. Ramsey and Scoggins);

(editorial by Drs. Curt and Chabner);

(commentary by Dr. Doroshow).

About AlphaMed Press

AlphaMed Press publishes the internationally renowned journals, "Stem Cells" and "The Oncologist." "Stem Cells," now in its 26th year, is the oldest and one of the world's top-tier peer-reviewed monthly journals in the fast-paced area of stem cells and regenerative medicine. "The Oncologist," in its 13th year, is a premier peer-reviewed monthly journal dedicated to physicians entrusted with the care of cancer patients. View AlphaMed Press journals at

Contact: Dr. Martin J. Murphy, Executive Editor: 919.402.8750,

SOURCE AlphaMed Press
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Dendreon Announces Publication of Phase 1 Study Highlighting Immunologic and Clinical Activity of Lapuleucel-T (Neuvenge(R)) in Advanced Breast Cancer Patients
2. EDAP Announces Launch of Clinical Study Combining HIFU and Chemotherapy for Localized Aggressive High Risk Prostate Cancer
3. Indevus Receives Approvable Letter From FDA for VALSTAR(R) for Bladder Cancer Therapy
4. EpiCept Reports Expansion of Clinical Development For Licensed Cancer Compound
5. Cephalon Announces Positive Results from a Pivotal Study of FENTORA in Opioid-tolerant Patients with Non-cancer Breakthrough Pain
6. ADVENTRX Announces Fast Track Designation Granted By the FDA For CoFactor For the Treatment of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
7. Novel Technology Breaks Through Cancer Pain
8. CEL-SCI Secures Manufacturing Facility for Multikine Cancer Drug
9. Furamidine Found to Inhibit a Key Enzyme Involved in Cancer Cell DNA Repair Mechanisms
10. Callisto Pharmaceuticals Opens Additional Sites for Phase II Clinical Trial of Atiprimod in Advanced Carcinoid Cancer Patients
11. Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Doses First Patient in Cotara(R) Phase II Brain Cancer Trial In India
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 --> ... report "Dental Lasers Market by Product (Soft Tissue, All Tissue, ... User (Hospitals, Clinics), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020", ... by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast ... market data Tables and 62 Figures spread through 167 P ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ORMP ), a clinical-stage ... delivery systems, announced today it has signed definitive licensing ... of Technologies Co., Ltd. ("HTIT") for exclusive rights to ... China , Hong Kong ... signed at the Israel Knesset (Parliament). ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015   Nuance Communications, ... The National Decision Support Company (NDSC) today jointly ... and collaboration capabilities that utilize the American College of ... healthcare provider organizations to comply with current and ... --> --> By combining clinical decision ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The world of hair ... and follicular unit extraction. These techniques and procedures have been in use for many ... hair loss. While Dr. Parsa Mohebi, M.D. has utilized many of these methods over ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... The presidential race normally deals with political issues of national importance ... news story when Donald Trump makes disparaging remarks about Hillary Clinton’s hairstyle? It is ... wants to admit when it comes to how people are viewed by others. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... hunger cravings that drive people to overeat are not necessarily caused by real hunger, ... brain that the stomach needs food. He notes that, while many patients are aware ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... RoamRight, a leading provider of ... Public Television’s Travel With Kids to promote family vacations around the world. ... they explore international destinations and educate families about the people and places of the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... At Grand Dental PC, ... convenient setting. , When you have dental problems, you need to turn to a ... effectively diagnose and treat your needs, a friendly dentist who counsels you on the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):