A new study published in the journal Annals of Oncology reveals that a large number of scientists are "spinning" the results of clinical trials for new breast cancer drugs in order to show them in positive light.
The study was conducted by researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC) and the University of Toronto found that nearly a third of clinical trials did not show any significant benefit for the treatment but the results were spun by focusing on insignificant details in order to show the drug in positive light.
The researchers analyzed more than 160 phase III clinical trials for breast cancer treatments during 1995 and 2011 and also found that over two-thirds of the trials were biased as they under-reported the adverse effects of the drugs.
"Better and more accurate reporting is urgently needed. Journal editors and reviewers, who give their expertise on the topic, are very important in ensuring this happens. However, readers also need to critically appraise reports in order to detect potential bias. We believe guidelines are necessary to improve the reporting of both efficacy and toxicity", lead researcher Professor Ian Tannock said.