Navigation Links
Most Cancer Treatment Studies Aren't Published, Study Finds
Date:9/15/2008

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: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080627/CLF051LOGO )

Drs. Scott Ramsey and John Scoggins of University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, searched the National Institutes of Health's ClinicalTrials.gov 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 ClinicalTrials.gov .

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 ClinicalTrials.gov 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 The researchers suspect that the rate of negative results is much higher in the studies that have gone unpublished.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 Ramsey and Scoggins write, "It is likely that many unpublished studies contain important information that could influence future research and present practice policy."

There are several reasons why registered trials may not be published.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:

http://www.theoncologist.com/cgi/reprint/theoncologist.2008-0133v1

(article by Drs. Ramsey and Scoggins);

http://www.theoncologist.com/cgi/reprint/theoncologist.2008-0174v1

(editorial by Drs. Curt and Chabner);

http://www.theoncologist.com/cgi/reprint/theoncologist.2008-0168v1

(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 http://www.alphamedpress.org.

Contact: Dr. Martin J. Murphy, Executive Editor: 919.402.8750, Martin.Murphy@TheOncologist.com


'/>"/>
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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... DPLO ) is pleased to announce the promotion of Paul Urick to Senior Vice ... To learn more about our Diplomat executive team, click ... ... ... In his redefined role at Diplomat, Urick ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016   HeartWare International, ... conference call and webcast to discuss its financial results ... 2015, on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. ... prior to the conference call and webcast.  On the ... financial results, highlights from the fourth quarter and business ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016  Sequent Medical, Inc. ... a study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of ... treatment of ruptured intracranial aneurysms.  Prof Laurent Spelle ... in Paris, France and Principal ... France and Germany.  Although ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... According to an ... beginning to account for a significant portion of hernia repairs throughout the United States. ... Beverly Hills Hernia Center notes that this trend has not only been expected, but ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... CDRH Enforcement Trends: , Back to the Future , Feb. 25, 2016 ... Winston Churchill said, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” , ... come knocking this year. But that takes time. , Take a close look at ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... T.E.N., a technology and ... the ISE Southeast Awards 2016. Finalists and winners of the ISE® Awards for ... Forum and Awards Gala on March 15, 2016 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest ... surrounding areas, is initiating a charity drive that will raise funds earmarked to purchase ... John C. Tayloe Elementary School. , “My school is in a low-income area and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Donor Network West, the organ procurement organization ... a partnership with San Ramon Regional Medical Center. Under the collaboration, the first of ... way to accommodate a more certain time frame for donor families for the recovery ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):