Most Meeting Abstracts Eventually Published

But there may be differences in primary end point and conclusions

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- About three-quarters of abstracts presented at the 2000 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting were eventually published, though in some cases there were differences in the primary end point and conclusions, according to a report in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Vincent C. Tam, M.D., from McMaster University, and Sebastien J. Hotte, M.D., from the Juravinski Cancer Centre, both in Ontario, Canada, searched the published literature for articles corresponding to 74 abstracts describing phase III clinical trials of chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy, immunotherapy and hormone therapy that were presented at the 2000 ASCO Annual Meeting.

The researchers found that 74 percent of abstracts had corresponding publications, with abstracts that had been selected as plenary or oral presentations being significantly more likely to be published. All of the publications and 34 percent of the abstracts stated the primary end point, which differed between the abstract and publication by more than 5 percent in 42 percent of cases, the investigators note. The statistical significance was consistent between the abstract and the publication in 89 percent of cases for the primary end point and in 91 percent of cases for the study conclusions.

"When carefully selected, ASCO Annual Meeting abstracts of phase III trials consistently reflect final published results, but some differences were observed that warrant caution in using abstract results to shape treatment decisions before full publication," Tam and Hotte conclude.

Abstract
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