Improving the Quality of Abstract Reporting for Phase I Cancer Trials
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PURPOSE: Conference abstracts of phase I trials (P1T) communicate important anticancer drug development information. Our objectives were to determine elements essential for good P1T abstract reporting, to assess the quality of P1T abstracts submitted to American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meetings, and to propose reporting guidelines. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A survey of developmental therapeutics experts established elements of P1T reporting quality, and a scoring system was generated. All P1T abstracts published in ASCO Annual Proceedings from 1997 to 2006 were reviewed, and the scoring system was applied. RESULTS: A survey was distributed twice to 69 experts, with a response rate of 39% (27 of 69). Experts rated 37 elements using a five-point scale, and elements with mean ratings over 3.75 were included in the final scoring system. One thousand six hundred and eighty three P1T abstracts were reviewed. A positive and linear association was observed between average expert rating of the elements and the proportion of P1T abstracts including those elements (Spearman correlation coefficient, rho = 0.60, P < 0.001). The median for all 1,683 abstracts was 62.5% (range, 25-95%; SD, 12.3%). Year of presentation was found to be significantly associated with higher quality scores (rho = 0.20, P < 0.001), with later years possessing better quality scores. The quality score was statistically significant as a predictor of type of presentation (odds ratio, 1.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.19 per 10% increase; P = 0.014), with oral presentations having the highest scores. CONCLUSIONS: The quality of P1T abstract reporting at ASCO has improved over time, although there is room for optimization. The quality of P1T abstract reporting may be enhanced using guidelines derived from our expert consensus.
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