Report Nearly One Third Of Cancer Studies Involve Conflict Of Interest

05.12.09 | FL News Team

There may be a disturbing reason so many health research reports seem to be contradictory. A newly released study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center says nearly a third of all cancer related research that is published in well known journals involves a conflict of interest.

The report says funding is the number one conflict. In 17-percent of health research papers published the effort was funded by the industry being studied. 12-percent of papers had one or more study authors who were an industry employee  Researchers also found randomized trials were more likely to have positive findings when there was some conflict of interest involved.

Study author, Reshma Jagsi, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan Medical School, says considering the number of conflicts and the way they appear to be associated with study outcomes, "I would suggest that merely disclosing conflicts is probably not enough."

For the study, researchers reviewed more than 1,500 cancer research studies published in prominent journals. Study details are in the online journal "Cancer."