[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Many phase III trials presented at annual meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) remain unpublished. The results of these unpublished trials, if more generally known, might have an impact on clinical practice.
Abstracts of large phase III trials evaluating systemic cancer treatment were identified from conference proceedings of the 1989 to 2003 ASCO annual meetings. PubMed, Medline, and Embase were searched for corresponding publications. A compendium of unpublished phase III trials was assembled. Clinical significance of nonpublication was determined by disease site-specific oncology experts from two academic cancer centers in Canada.
A total of 709 phase III trials were identified of which 66 (9.3%) remain without a subsequent publication at a minimum of 6.5 years of follow-up and 94 (13%) were published after a delay of ≥ 5 years from their initial presentation. Of the unpublished trials, 48% were presented as oral sessions at an ASCO meeting, and 71% of the abstracts reported negative results. The experts judged that 70% of the unpublished trials addressed an important question and 59% might have had clinical impact if their results had been published promptly.
A substantial number of cancer clinical trials with potential influence on clinical practice remain unpublished and many other trials are published after a substantial delay. Nonpublication of clinical trials breaks an implicit contract with participants, institutional review boards, and sponsors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorders primarily seen in the elderly that are characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and a propensity to develop AML. Clinicians may be hesitant to refer older patients with unexplained cytopenias and/or macrocytosis for a bone marrow biopsy (BM), and consequently undiagnosed patients may be deprived access to effective treatments. Previously, we described factors which were independently predictive of a diagnosis of MDS at time of bone marrow: age ≥65, mean cell volume (MCV), red cell distribution width (RDW), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and suggested a scoring system to calculate the post-test probability of MDS . In this study we validate this scoring system in a cohort of 313 individuals who underwent bone marrow examinations for the investigation of unexplained cytopenias and or macrocytosis over a 3 year period at our institution (2006-2008). Thirty-two percent of all patients were diagnosed with MDS and 9% had suspected MDS. The post-test likelihood of a diagnosis of MDS increased from 12% when none of the four identified factors were present to 48% when 3 or more factors were present. This scoring system can be used to guide the diagnostic testing of patients presenting with unexplained cytopenias or macrocytosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Regional Metastatic Melanoma has a relatively high mortality rate. Adjuvant interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) has been shown to improve disease-free survival, post-resection. Cardiotoxicity associated with IFN-alpha use has been described previously in the literature, but here we describe the first case of pericardial effusion with cardiac tamponade secondary to IFN-alpha 2b treatment of melanoma. Clinicians should be aware of this potentially lethal complication and the possible acuity of its onset.