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      Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research.

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          Do Pressures to Publish Increase Scientists' Bias? An Empirical Support from US States Data

          The growing competition and “publish or perish” culture in academia might conflict with the objectivity and integrity of research, because it forces scientists to produce “publishable” results at all costs. Papers are less likely to be published and to be cited if they report “negative” results (results that fail to support the tested hypothesis). Therefore, if publication pressures increase scientific bias, the frequency of “positive” results in the literature should be higher in the more competitive and “productive” academic environments. This study verified this hypothesis by measuring the frequency of positive results in a large random sample of papers with a corresponding author based in the US. Across all disciplines, papers were more likely to support a tested hypothesis if their corresponding authors were working in states that, according to NSF data, produced more academic papers per capita. The size of this effect increased when controlling for state's per capita R&D expenditure and for study characteristics that previous research showed to correlate with the frequency of positive results, including discipline and methodology. Although the confounding effect of institutions' prestige could not be excluded (researchers in the more productive universities could be the most clever and successful in their experiments), these results support the hypothesis that competitive academic environments increase not only scientists' productivity but also their bias. The same phenomenon might be observed in other countries where academic competition and pressures to publish are high.
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            Drug development and clinical trials--the path to an approved cancer drug.

            Advances in our understanding of cancer biology have led to the discovery of a spectrum of new therapeutic targets. However, despite remarkable progress in the identification and characterization of novel mechanisms of the oncogenic process, the success rate for approval of oncology drugs remains low relative to other therapeutic areas. Innovative preclinical and clinical approaches, such as the use of advanced genomic technologies, as well as branched adaptive clinical trial designs, have the potential to accelerate the development and approval of highly effective oncology drugs, along with a matching diagnostic test to identify those patients most likely to benefit from the new treatment. To maximize the effectiveness of these new strategies, close collaboration between academic, industry, and regulatory agencies will be required. In this Review, we highlight new approaches in preclinical and clinical drug development that will help accelerate approval of drugs, and aim to provide more-effective treatments alongside companion diagnostic tests to ensure the right treatment is given to the right patient.
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              Raising the bar for cancer therapy models.

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                22460880
                10.1038/483531a

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