Conflicts of Interest Common in Published Cancer ResearchLast Updated: May 11, 2009. A sizeable portion of cancer-related studies in major journals are marked by conflicts of interest, which may be associated with the types of research and outcomes presented in the studies, according to research published online May 11 in Cancer.
MONDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- A sizeable portion of cancer-related studies in major journals are marked by conflicts of interest, which may be associated with the types of research and outcomes presented in the studies, according to research published online May 11 in Cancer.
Reshma Jagsi, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues analyzed 1,534 oncology studies published in 2006 in five high-impact cancer journals and three general medical journals. Overall, 17 percent of the studies listed industry funding and 29 percent had conflicts of interest.
The investigators note that studies with a corresponding author from a medical oncology department were most likely to contain conflicts (45 percent). Conflicts of interest were found in 33, 27, and 5 percent of studies from North America, Europe, and Asia, respectively. Studies with industry funding were more likely to focus on curative treatment than studies not funded by industry (62 versus 36 percent), and in studies reporting overall survival, those with conflicts of interest more often had positive findings.
"Most disturbingly, it appears that cancer research studies in which conflicts of interest are present are indeed more likely to report positive outcomes. In light of these findings, attempts to disentangle the cancer-research effort from industry ties merit further attention, and medical journals should be supported in embracing both rigorous standards of disclosure and heightened scrutiny when conflicts exist," the authors conclude.
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