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, 7, e6423

Discordant Financial Conflicts of Interest Disclosures Between Clinical Trial Conference Abstract and Subsequent Publication


Discordant Financial Conflicts of Interest Disclosures Between Clinical Trial Conference Abstract and Subsequent Publication

Glen J Weiss et al. PeerJ.


Background: Financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) are known to be prevalent in medicine. Authorship of pivotal trials reap non-financial benefits including publication productivity that can be used for assessment of tenure positions and promotion. The purpose of this investigation was to quantify the prevalence and discordance of academic trial author (authors) FCOI in industry-sponsored drug trials that were initially presented as oral abstracts and subsequently resulted in a peer-reviewed publication.

Methods: Oral abstracts from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2017 Annual Meeting that were subsequently published were identified. Studies that were non-industry sponsored, non-adult, or non-therapeutic trials were excluded. Studies that did not have a subsequent peer-reviewed publication or had a publication preceding the ASCO 2017 Annual Meeting were also excluded. FCOI was categorized and impact factor (IF) for the journal at the time of publication was retrieved. FCOI discordance between the oral abstract and publication was calculated based on geographic location and IF.

Results: A total of 22 paired abstract and publications met inclusion criteria for further analysis. A total of 384 authors were identified, of these 280 authors (74.1%) were included in both the oral abstract and subsequent publication. A total of 76% of these 280 authors had FCOI and 66.4% had FCOI discordance. There were statistically significant differences for the sum of FCOI discordance for U.S.-based authors (p = 0.0004) but not for journal IF. When analyzing the sum of absolute differences of FCOI discordance, statistical significance was reached for authors from any of the three geographic regions, as well as, low and high IF journals (all p-values < 0.0001).

Conclusions: This study draws attention to the lack of uniformity and vetting of FCOI reporting in abstracts and journals publishing solid tumor oncology trial results. This is particularly concerning, since FCOI is prevalent globally.

Keywords: Clinical trials; Discordance; Financial conflicts of interest; Oncology; Publication.

Conflict of interest statement

Glen J. Weiss reports personal fees and other from Circulogene, personal fees from Paradigm, personal fees from Angiex, personal fees from Igynta, personal fees from Pfizer, personal fees from Merck, personal fees from IDEA Pharma, personal fees from GLG Council, personal fees from Guidpoint Global, other from Cambridge Healthtech Institute, personal fees from Novartis, other from Tesaro, outside the submitted work; in addition, Glen J. Weiss has a patent PCT/US2011/020612 issued.


Figure 1
Figure 1. CONSORT diagram.

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Grant support

This work was conducted with support from Harvard Catalyst | The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center. National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health Award UL1 TR002541 and financial contributions from Harvard University and its affiliated academic health care centers. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.