Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Positive results more likely from industry-funded breast cancer trials

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.

Dianne Shaw | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>