Towering Figure In Cancer Research World Failed To Disclose Financial Ties To Drug, Health Care Companies
Dr. José Baselga's failure to properly disclose his connections to the industry highlight a broader issue within the field over how weakly reporting requirements are enforced by the medical journals and professional societies charged with policing them.
The New York Times/ProPublica:
Top Cancer Researcher Fails To Disclose Corporate Financial Ties In Major Research Journals
One of the world’s top breast cancer doctors failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from drug and health care companies in recent years, omitting his financial ties from dozens of research articles in prestigious publications like The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. The researcher, Dr. José Baselga, a towering figure in the cancer world, is the chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He has held board memberships or advisory roles with Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb, among other corporations, has had a stake in start-ups testing cancer therapies, and played a key role in the development of breakthrough drugs that have revolutionized treatments for breast cancer. (Ornstein and Thomas, 9/8)
In other national health care news —
That Alarm About The Cancer Risks Of CRISPR? It's Still Ringing
When papers from two independent research groups reported in June that CRISPR genome editing is more likely to succeed in cells that have lost their cancer kill switch, it raised fears that edited cells used to treat patients might initiate tumors. That inference is still the subject of intense debate — including over whether Nature Medicine should even have published the studies — but one thing is beyond question: The papers sent other scientists scurrying to their labs to check their results. (Begley, 9/10)
The Associated Press:
Doctors Explore Lifting Barriers To Living Organ Donation
Surgeons turned down Terra Goudge for the liver transplant that was her only shot at surviving a rare cancer. Her tumor was too advanced, they said — even though Goudge had a friend ready to donate, no matter those odds. "I have a living donor — I'm not taking away from anyone. I'm trying to save my own life," she pleaded. Finally, the Los Angeles woman found a hospital on the other side of the country that let the pair try. (9/10)
Could Alzheimer's Be An Infectious Disease?
Dr. Leslie Norins is willing to hand over $1 million of his own money to anyone who can clarify something: Is Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia worldwide, caused by a germ? By "germ" he means microbes like bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. In other words, Norins, a physician turned publisher, wants to know if Alzheimer's is infectious. (Stetka, 9/9)
New Flu Drug Shows Strong Potential, But Clinical Trial Results Also Raise Concerns
A new, fast-acting flu drug showed strong potential but also some surprising and even concerning results in two newly published clinical trials. The drug, baloxavir marboxil, cut the time people were sick with flu symptoms by a little over a day. And it dramatically reduced the amount of viruses that people with infections had in their upper respiratory tracts, suggesting they might be less likely to infect others through coughs and sneezes. (Branswell, 9/10)