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Cancer trials stopped early to get drugs to market

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There is a growing trend for trials of new cancer treatments to be stopped early before therapies’ risks and benefits have been properly evaluated, research has shown.
Italian researchers analysed 25 randomised controlled trials of novel cancer treatments that had been stopped early because they had started to show benefits to patients.

Out of the 14 trials stopped for this reason between 2005-2007, 11 were used to support an application for marketing authorisation at the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Dr Giovanni Apolone, report author said: ‘This suggests a commercial component in stopping trials prematurely. In fact this strategy could guarantee quicker access to the market for companies.’

Findings were published online in the Annals of Oncology.
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