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Studies do not confirm test results for many cancer experiments




Eight years ago, a team of researchers launched a project that carefully repeated early but influential laboratory experiments in cancer research.

They reproduced 50 experiments. This is a type of preliminary study using mice and test tubes to set the stage for new anticancer drugs. Disappointing results were reported on Tuesday: about half of the scientific claims did not hold up.

“The truth is that we fool ourselves. Most of what we claim is novel and unimportant,” he said. Dr. Vinay Prasad, A cancer doctor and researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the project.

It is a pillar of science that the most powerful discoveries come from experiments that can be repeated with similar results.

In reality, there is little incentive for researchers to share methods and data so that others can verify their work. Marcia McNut, President of the National Academy of Sciences. If the results cannot withstand scrutiny, the researchers will lose fame, she said.

And there are built-in rewards for publishing your findings.

But for cancer patients, reading the headlines of mouse studies that appear to promise treatment “around the corner” can lead to false hopes, Prasad said. “Cancer progress is always slower than we want.”

New studies reflect the early shortcomings of scientific processes, not established treatments. By the time anticancer drugs hit the market, they have been rigorously tested by many to ensure they are safe and effective.

In this project, researchers attempted to repeat the experiment from cancer biology papers published between 2010 and 2012 in major journals such as Cell, Science, and Nature.

Overall, 54% of the original findings could not be measured to preset statistical criteria. Reproducibility project, according to Team research Published online by eLife on Tuesday.

Some of the studies that did not hold up found that certain gut bacteria were associated with human colon cancer. The other was a type of drug that shrinks breast tumors in mice. The third was a mouse study of a potential prostate cancer drug.

The co-author of the Prostate Cancer Study said the study conducted at the Sanford Burnham Prebeads Institute has withstood other scrutiny.

“There are many duplicates [scientific] Our resulting literature ” Erkki Ruoslati, Started a company currently conducting human trials with the same compound for metastatic pancreatic cancer.

This is the second major analysis by the reproducibility project. In 2015, we had a similar problem. I repeated the psychology experiment..

Co-author of the study Brian Nosek Members of the Center for Open Science said it could be wasteful to move forward without first repeating the findings.

“We blow the trumpet to the world, saying,’I have a solution,’ before we start clinical trials, start up a startup, or do any further work to validate it,” Nosek said. Mr. says.

Researchers have sought to minimize differences in how cancer experiments are conducted. Often, I couldn’t get help from the scientist who did the original work when I was asked about the strain of the mouse to use and where to find the specially designed tumor cells.

“I wasn’t surprised, but I’m concerned that about one-third of the scientists didn’t help, and in some cases they didn’t.” Michael Lauer, Deputy Director of Out-of-Wall Research at the National Institutes of Health.

NIH seeks to improve data sharing among scientists by requesting data from granted institutions in 2023, Lauer said.

“Science can produce amazing things when it’s done right,” Lauer said.

For now, I said skepticism is the right approach Dr. Glen Begley, A biotechnology consultant and former head of cancer research at the pharmaceutical company Amgen. Ten years ago, he and other Amgen in-house scientists reported even lower confirmation rates when trying to repeat published cancer experiments.

Researching cancer is difficult, “it’s very easy for researchers to be attracted to exciting and provocative results. The results further support their favorite idea of ​​how cancer works. It looks like it does, but it’s wrong. “




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