January 19, 2017
(STAT News) – Five years ago, a pair of cancer researchers published an article in Nature lamenting what they called the “remarkably low” rate of success in turning early-stage oncology trials into marketable drugs. The looming issue, according to the authors, was this: Cancer studies are shockingly hard to reproduce. How hard? Results in just six of 53 “landmark” trials could be confirmed by further analysis. That paper went on to inspire an ambitious initiative to verify the findings of dozens of high-impact cancer studies. The long-awaited early returns are in, and the results aren’t particularly encouraging.