As the number of potential new drugs and protocols for cancer treatment has expanded, particularly in the last decade, communicating the results of the clinical trials to specialists is paramount to saving lives. Presentation of preliminary clinical trial results and publication of final results in peer-reviewed journals is the cornerstone of accurate dissemination of data to colleagues. Previous studies indicate that the publication rate for clinical disciplines range from 78 percent in pediatrics to 31 percent in spine specialists. In 1984 only 58 percent of phase I trial abstracts accepted at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting were published.
Luis H. Camacho, M.D., M.P.H. of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and colleagues from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York calculated the publication rate of abstracts detailing phase I clinical trial data that were accepted at the 1997 ASCO meeting over the next 7.5 years. They also examined the factors that may influence publication.
The authors found about two in three publications (67 percent) were published within the time period studied. Publications that were selected for oral presentation at the meeting were no more likely to be published than those not presented. However, abstracts that were presented were published sooner. Furthermore, while abstracts of novel drug types were more likely to be presented at the meeting, they were no less likely than abstracts on non-novel drugs to be published. Pharmaceutical financial support also did not influence the publication rate. However, researchers often cited lack of time and author relocation as the major obstacles to publication.
"Persistent underreporting of phase I clinical trials hinders dissemination of information to the medical community, delays scientific progress, and may ultimately have an adverse effect on patient care," conclude the authors.
Article: "Presentation and Subsequent Publication Rates of Phase I Oncology Clinical Trials," Luis H. Camacho, Jennifer Bacik, Alexander Cheung, David R. Spriggs, CANCER; Published Online: August 22, 2005; (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.21337); Print Issue Date: October 1, 2005.