Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Ethics Committees identify and correct problems in applications to do cancer trials

29.08.2008
Researchers running cancer trials are often critical of the Research Ethics Committee (REC) process they have to go through to get their trials approved, complaining that it’s too complex, burdensome and sometimes unreasonable. In the UK only 17% of research study applications are given immediate favourable opinion by RECs.

But a new study from the University of Leicester, recently reported in The Lancet Oncology, suggests that RECs may sometimes identify important problems in applications to conduct cancer trials.

The Leicester study, funded by the National Research Ethics Service, looked at 80 anonymised NHS REC decision letters concerning cancer trials, written between March 2004 and December 2006.

When reviewing applications to conduct cancer trials, the issue RECs are most likely to raise is that of informed consent. Committees are often concerned that the information that researchers propose to give patients may not be in language that can be easily understood. They also discourage researchers from presenting trials too enthusiastically, and seek to prevent researchers from providing misleading information. One Committee pointed out that the cancer drug side-effects were described as mild on the patient information sheet, but in the investigator's brochure it was noted that several patients had experienced serious adverse events thought to be related to the drug.

The study found that RECs identify a high rate of mistakes in applications, including missing information, ticking the wrong boxes, errors in the information provided and not following correct procedures.

The findings support the conclusion that RECs, though by their constitution somewhat bureaucratic, provide an important independent check on clinical trials by ensuring that investigators do not omit important information or underestimate risks in the information they give patients.

Professor Mary Dixon-Woods, of Medical Sociology in the Department of Health Sciences at the University, commented: “There have been a lot of complaints about REC procedures from researchers in recent years. They often find the process onerous and bureaucratic. However, this study is the first time anyone has systematically analysed what RECs are saying about cancer trial proposals.

“RECs are looking for evidence that researchers are sensitive to ethical issues, in particular to participants’ interests, and that information given to potential participants explains the trial fully and truthfully. Researchers can improve their chances of success at ethical review by really good preparation.”

The study, led by Professor Dixon-Woods, was carried out with Emma Angell, Carolyn Tarrant and Anne Thomas, in the Social Science Research Group in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester and the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>