the daily stirrer

Are 90% Of Cancer Research Studies Fraudulent?

by Ian R Thorpe
A shocking report published in nature magazine has revealed that up to 89% of cancer research studies may be fraudulent. In that many cases the results reported were not reproducable and were in the interests of Pharmaceutical and healthcare corporations rather than cancer sufferers. It is not clear in how many cases the researchers were knowingly dishonest and how many were just stupid.
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Are 90% Of Cancer Research Studies Fraudulent?

by Ian R Thorpe

OK, we'll come clean, that headline is pure sensationalism. A more accurate figure is 89%.

The results of several different major studies investigating the objectivity of scientific research have shown that this quality of the research work may be seriously compromised due to the influence of pharmaceutical and healthcare corporations that supplied funding. As we learned in the UK two or three years ago, scientific literature and in particulat the discredited 'peer review' system has led to the acceptance of many tainted studies, which may be as high as 89% of all work published, in which the results reported (and affirmed by peer review) are not reproducible by those who have no financial or career interest in the outcome. This means that to an extent, government agencies have based healthcare and clinical policies on fake studies that reported untruthful results in order to accommodate the commercial interests interests of the corporations funding the project.

Cancer is a major killer in in the developed world, there is no doubt of that. The American Cancer Society reports that in 2012, more than half a million Americans died from cancer in 2011, while the figure for europe was 1.25 million. Given the suffering behind these numbers and the efficacy of evidence-based medicine as opposed to the one size fits all therapies beloved of the health industry and the medical science business, it would be good to feel able trust that honest, objective research is responsible for discovering and developing the cancer therapies out there. Unfortunately science was ever fascism's whore and the cancer research carried out recently appears to have been more about corporate profits that patients wellbeing.

In March 2012, Nature, the famous and highly respected scientific journal, published a truly alarming study. Glenn Begley and Lee Ellis double checked the results of 53 landmark studies in cancer research, but they were only able to reproduce the published results in 11% of them.

The two points to emerge from this which should concern us (as taxpayers and presumable, at some point in our lives, healthcare consumers) the most are: the cross-checked studies were published in high-impact factor journals and secondly, they have served as the basis for the "state of the art" cancer therapies that millions of people are receiving this very moment.

Begley and ellis were not able to disclose details of the fake studies, because when they contacted the original authors and asked for details of the experiments, they had been required to sign non disclosure agreements by which they were obl;iged not to disclose their findings on individual reports or the sources.

Unsurprisingly when contacted by Nature, the research leaders were unavailable for comment This shows that the scientists, who published the tainted research, were all along, fully aware of the discrepancies of their published results and criminally conscious of the way in which they had been complicit in misleading the medical community and the public.

Sources for this article: 29 percent of cancer studies report conflict of interest. University of Michigan Health System.
Science Daily
EMSO (European Society for Medical Oncology)
American Cancer Society - 2012. Cancer Facts and Figures.
Conflict of interest in clinical practice guideline development: a systematic review
29% of cancer studies report conflict of interest

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