Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Positive Results More Likely From Industry-funded Breast Cancer Trials

Date:
February 26, 2007
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
Industry-funded studies of breast cancer therapies are more likely to report positive results than non-pharmaceutical funded studies, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute have found. In addition, significant differences exist in the design and nature of clinical trials supported by the pharmaceutical industry compared to trials without industry involvement.

Industry-funded studies of breast cancer therapies are more likely to report positive results than non-pharmaceutical funded studies, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute have found. In addition, significant differences exist in the design and nature of clinical trials supported by the pharmaceutical industry compared to trials without industry involvement.

Published online Feb. 26 in CANCER, the journal of the American Cancer Society, the study explores the impact of pharmaceutical-company involvement on breast cancer clinical trial design and outcome. Drug-industry investment in research now exceeds the operating budget of the National Institutes of Health and previous studies have examined the impact on other areas of clinical medicine, but not breast cancer.

"Our study shines a flashlight on the issue of the rising role and potential impact of the pharmaceutical industry on breast cancer research and highlights important questions that need to be addressed through further research," said Dr. Jeffrey Peppercorn, assistant professor of medicine in UNC School of Medicine's division of hematology and oncology and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"The significance of our study is not to say that the drug industry does anything wrong -- they are excellent at developing new therapies, and there are many recent examples in breast cancer research. But if more and more research is funded by drug companies, then the limited amount of funding coming from other sources may need to be directed to address other questions," Peppercorn said.

The researchers reviewed all breast cancer clinical trials published in 10 English-language medical journals in the years 1993, 1998 and 2003. They focused their formal statistical analysis on the 2003 trials because the identification of industry funded or non-industry funded research was likely more accurate due to more stringent disclosure guidelines than earlier periods.

Trials with industry involvement were more likely than non-industry studies to use a single-arm study design, without a comparison group. This isn't surprising, Peppercorn notes, because these studies are a key step in drug development.

In 2003, 57 percent of studies reported pharmaceutical involvement. Of these, 66 percent were single-arm studies. Only 33 percent of non-industry studies used single-arm design.

The industry studies were also more likely to yield positive results; 84 percent of industry-supported studies showed positive results, compared with 54 percent of non-industry studies.

"It's been seen again and again in various branches of clinical medicine that studies that involve pharmaceutical industry sponsorship are more likely to have positive outcomes," Peppercorn said. "It's not fair to say at this point that it's necessarily related to biased interpretation of results." For instance, another explanation could be that industry makes smarter or safer choices about what drugs are brought to trial.

However, as industry funding becomes an increasingly dominant source of research funding, clinical questions that aren't directly related to drug development may be neglected, Peppercorn said. Such questions include the optimal duration for giving a medication or whether certain groups of patients benefit from a medication more than others, he said.

Study co-authors are Emily Blood, Dr. Eric Winer and Dr. Ann Partridge, all of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where Dr. Peppercorn received his training and initiated the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Positive Results More Likely From Industry-funded Breast Cancer Trials." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070226095116.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2007, February 26). Positive Results More Likely From Industry-funded Breast Cancer Trials. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070226095116.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Positive Results More Likely From Industry-funded Breast Cancer Trials." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070226095116.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins