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Lab Invest. 2019 Apr 24. doi: 10.1038/s41374-019-0257-2. [Epub ahead of print]

False-positive pathology: improving reproducibility with the next generation of pathologists.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. benjamin.mazer@yale.edu.
2
Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. robert.homer@yale.edu.
3
Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. david.rimm@yale.edu.

Abstract

The external validity of the scientific literature has recently come into question, popularly referred to as the "reproducibility crisis." It is now generally acknowledged that too many false positive or non-reproducible results are being published throughout the biomedical and social science literature due to misaligned incentives and poor methodology. Pathology is likely no exception to this problem, and may be especially prone to false positives due to common observational methodologies used in our research. Spurious findings in pathology contribute inefficiency to the scientific literature and detrimentally influence patient care. In particular, false positives in pathology affect patients through biomarker development, prognostic classification, and cancer overdiagnosis. We discuss possible sources of non-reproducible pathology studies and describe practical ways our field can improve research habits, especially among trainees.

PMID:
31019290
DOI:
10.1038/s41374-019-0257-2

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