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Stopping a cancer trial early: is it for the benefit of patients or industry?

9 April 2008

New research has identified a growing trend for trials of new cancer treatments to be stopped prematurely before the therapies’ risks and benefits have been properly evaluated. In a study, published in the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology, Italian researchers analysed 25 randomised controlled clinical trials that had been stopped early because they had started to show a benefit to patients and found that the numbers had increased dramatically in recent years. They warn that this could lead to a systematic over-statement of the effects of treatment, and that patients could be harmed by new therapies being rushed prematurely into the clinic.

From the paper Stopping a trial early in oncology: for patients or for industry? F. Trotta, G. Apolone, S. Garattini, G. Tafuri

Published in Annals of Oncology, Advanced Access, 9th April 2008

Read the press release online

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