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J Clin Oncol. 2010 Mar 10;28(8):1316-21. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.21.6606. Epub 2010 Jan 11.

Relationships between authorship contributions and authors' industry financial ties among oncology clinical trials.

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  • 1Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


PURPOSE To test the hypothesis that authors who play key scientific roles in oncology clinical trials, and who therefore have increased influence over the design, analysis, interpretation or reporting of trials, are more likely than those who do not play such roles to have financial ties to industry. METHODS Data were abstracted from all trials (n = 235) of drugs or biologic agents published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007. Article-level data included sponsorship, age group (adult v pediatric), phase, single versus multicenter, country (United States v other), and number of authors. Author-level data (n = 2,927) included financial ties (eg, employment, consulting) and performance of key scientific roles (ie, conception/design, analysis/interpretation, or manuscript writing). Associations between performance of key roles and financial ties, adjusting for article-level covariates, were examined using generalized linear mixed models. Results One thousand eight hundred eighty-one authors (64%) reported performing at least one key role, and 842 authors (29%) reported at least one financial tie. Authors who reported performing a key role were more likely than other authors to report financial ties to industry (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.3; 99% CI, 3.0 to 6.0; P < .0001). The association was stronger among trials with, compared with those without, industry funding (OR, 5.0 [99% CI, 3.4 to 7.5] v OR, 2.5 [99% CI, 1.3 to 4.8]), but was present regardless of sponsorship. CONCLUSION Authors who perform key roles in the conception and design, analysis, and interpretation, or reporting of oncology clinical trials are more likely than authors who do not perform such roles to have financial ties to industry.

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