Oncologist-Authors Often Do Not Fully Disclose Financial Relationships with Pharmaceutical Companies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cole Wayant Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences ‐ Analytical and Institutional Research Tulsa, OK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: New FDA-approved oncology drugs are essential to oncology practice. These drugs may immediately change clinical care by offering better treatments for common, lethal forms of cancer. But, new FDA-approved oncology drugs are expensive and have been shown to have variable efficacy. Given the importance of new FDA-approved oncology drugs to patients and physicians, the trials that underpin the FDA-approval of these drugs must be free from bias and transparent. Therefore, we investigated the financial relationships between oncologist-authors of clinical trials that underpin FDA-approvals. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: The key takeaway from our study is that oncologist-authors often do not fully disclose their financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. Financial disclosures are important for the reasons of transparency and trust between physicians and other stakeholders, such as patients. Disclosing conflicts of interest helps readers interpret the findings of a research study, especially given the fact that drug companies finance their own drug trials. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? Response: In the future, beyond recommending that authors fully disclose all financial relationships with the sponsor of the trial, I recommend that journals use the Open Payments Database to verify the accuracy and completeness of author disclosure statements. Doing so is a small first step toward mitigating the potential for financial bias in the oncology literature.” Disclosures: I do not have anything else to add. None of the authors have conflicts of interest - financial or otherwise. Citation: Financial Conflicts of Interest Among Oncologist Authors of Reports of Clinical Drug Trials  <span class="last-modified-timestamp">Aug 30, 2018 @ 5:06 pm</span> The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

Cole Wayant

Cole Wayant BS
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences ‐ Analytical and Institutional Research
Tulsa, OK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: New FDA-approved oncology drugs are essential to oncology practice. These drugs may immediately change clinical care by offering better treatments for common, lethal forms of cancer.

But, new FDA-approved oncology drugs are expensive and have been shown to have variable efficacy. Given the importance of new FDA-approved oncology drugs to patients and physicians, the trials that underpin the FDA-approval of these drugs must be free from bias and transparent. Therefore, we investigated the financial relationships between oncologist-authors of clinical trials that underpin FDA-approvals. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The key takeaway from our study is that oncologist-authors often do not fully disclose their financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. Financial disclosures are important for the reasons of transparency and trust between physicians and other stakeholders, such as patients. Disclosing conflicts of interest helps readers interpret the findings of a research study, especially given the fact that drug companies finance their own drug trials.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: In the future, beyond recommending that authors fully disclose all financial relationships with the sponsor of the trial, I recommend that journals use the Open Payments Database to verify the accuracy and completeness of author disclosure statements. Doing so is a small first step toward mitigating the potential for financial bias in the oncology literature.” 

Disclosures: I do not have anything else to add. None of the authors have conflicts of interest – financial or otherwise.

Citation:

Wayant C, Turner E, Meyer C, Sinnett P, Vassar M. Financial Conflicts of Interest Among Oncologist Authors of Reports of Clinical Drug Trials. JAMA Oncol. Published online August 30, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.3738

Aug 30, 2018 @ 5:06 pm

The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

 

What Surveillance Testing Should Be Done After Melanoma Diagnosis?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

This image depicts the gross appearance of a cutaneous pigmented lesion, which had been diagnosed as superficial spreading malignant melanoma (SSMM). Note the roughened edges of this mole, and its heterogeneous, mottled, multicolored appearance, which are all characteristics that should evoke suspicions about its classification.

This image depicts the gross appearance of a cutaneous pigmented lesion, which had been diagnosed as superficial spreading malignant melanoma (SSMM). Note the roughened edges of this mole, and its heterogeneous, mottled, multicolored appearance, which are all characteristics that should evoke suspicions about its classification.
CDC Image

Dr. Diwakar Davar, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology
University of Pittsburgh 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The optimal surveillance strategy to detect recurrence in cutaneous melanoma remains elusive. Risk of recurrence increases with higher stage, and is especially high for patients with stage IIIC disease. Although consensus guidelines agree on surveillance imaging for high-risk (stage IIB-IIIC) MEL, there is no consensus regarding optimal frequency/modality in these patients. NCCN guidelines suggest chest radiography (CXR) at 6- to 12-month intervals for stage IA-IIA melanoma  patients; although this is controversial. There exists a great deal of practice variation in the surveillance of these patients. Continue reading

How Long Should Cancer Survivors Be Followed by Oncology?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Anil K. Sood M.D. Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology and co-director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Sood

Dr. Anil K. Sood M.D.
Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology and co-director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA
MD Anderson Cancer Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Cancer survivorship care involves coordinating between oncologists, surgeons, and primary care teams, yet there are no consistent or universal guidelines to dictate who will oversee which aspects of care, and when.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Some cancer survivorship populations have a short high-risk period and exceedingly low cancer mortality, suggesting their survivorship care may best be overseen by their primary care physician. The highest-risk populations saw a majority of deaths from their primary cancer, and had high-risk periods longer than five-years, suggesting an extended period of survivorship care management by their oncologist.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Many patients may be undergoing excessively long survivorship care with their oncologist, while others may be receiving insufficient periods of oncologist-led survivorship care

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This study looked at broad, organ-based cancer types. The methods used in this study could be performed to further tailor personalized survivorship care based on cancer and patient-level specifics.

All authors have no pertinent disclosures.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community

Citation:

Dood RL, Zhao Y, Armbruster SD, et al. Defining Survivorship Trajectories Across Patients With Solid TumorsAn Evidence-Based Approach. JAMA Oncol. Published online June 02, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.2761

 

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Drug Industry Money Affect Cancer Prescriptions?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Aaron Mitchell, MD Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine,  Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil

Dr. Mitchell

Aaron Mitchell, MD
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine,
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Financial relationships between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry are very common. However, we are just beginning to figure out whether these relationships may lead to potentially concerning changes in physician behavior – whether physicians tend to prescribe more of the drugs made by a company that has given them money. We decided to ask whether oncologists who receive money from drugmakers are more likely to use the cancer drugs made by companies that have given them money in the past.

In studying two specific groups of cancer drugs, one for kidney cancer and one for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), we found that oncologists who had received payments such as meals, consulting fees, travel & lodging expenses from the manufacturer of one of these drugs tended to use that drug more. When looking at oncologists who received payments for research, we found increased prescribing among the kidney cancer drugs but not the CML drugs.

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Survey Reveals Communication Gaps Between Oncologists and Patients With Advanced Breast Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Adam Brufsky, MD, PhD, FACP Medical Director of the Women's Cancer Center University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Dr. Adam Brufsky

Adam Brufsky, MD, PhD, FACP
Medical Director of the Women’s Cancer Center
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

  • The Make Your Dialogue Count survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Novartis between June 20 and August 22, 2014. A total of 359 surveys were collected among women 21 years+ living with advanced breast cancer in addition to 234 caregivers of women with advanced breast cancer and 252 licensed oncologists who treat at least five advanced breast cancer patients per month within the United States. Novartis conducted the survey with guidance from oncologists, patient advocacy experts and a psychologist to better understand the dialogue around treatment goals and decisions that takes place among advanced breast cancer patients, caregivers and oncologists.
  • Main survey findings show communication gaps exist in discussions between patients and oncologists, particularly around treatment plans and goals.
  • 89% of patients and 76% of oncologists said that it’s important or very important to discuss long-term treatment plans beyond the current recommended treatment at their initial advanced breast cancer diagnosis. Yet, 43% of patients reported that this did not take place.
  • 70% of patients and 65% of oncologists said that it’s important or very important to refer patients to support services at their initial advanced breast cancer diagnosis. Yet, only 36% of patients reported that this was something their doctor did.
  • 23% of oncologists said that at times their emotions have kept them from sharing certain information with their advanced breast cancer patients, and 27% of oncologists said that, in certain situations, they do not discuss with patients the fact that advanced breast cancer is incurable.

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Many Leading Oncologists Have Pharmaceutical Ties

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Aaron Mitchell MD Hematology/Oncology Fellow University North Carolina

Dr. Aaron Mitchell

Dr. Aaron Mitchell MD
Hematology/Oncology Fellow
University North Carolina

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: It is well known that many physicians work with the pharmaceutical industry. In some cases, this can create conflicts of interest with physicians’ other responsibilities. The Open Payments law, passed as part of the Affordable Care Act, recently made these relationships public, which now allows us to study them more systematically.

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Pediatric Oncology: Radiation Free Imaging Test as Alternative to PET/CT Scans

Dr Heike Daldrup-Link Associate Professor of Radiology Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo AltoMedicalResearch.com: Interview with:
Dr Heike Daldrup-Link
Associate Professor of Radiology
Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto

 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: We use magnetic resonance imaging, a technology based on magnetic fields rather than radiotracers or x-rays. The underlying technology is not new – it has been used for tumor staging for many years. This is an advantage as MR scanners are available in nearly every major Children’s Hospital where children with cancer are treated. What is new about our approach is that we combined anatomical and functional images, similar to current approaches that use radiotracers and CT (PET/CT):  We first acquired scans that showed the anatomy of the patient very well and we then acquired scans that depict tumors as bright spots with little or no background information. We did that by using an iron supplement as a contrast agent: The iron supplement can be detected by the MRI magnet and improved tumor detection and vessel delineation MR scans. We then fused the anatomical scans with the tumor scans.
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