Study Can’t Confirm Lab Results For Many Cancer Experiments

Hmmmmmm shares a report from the Associated Press: Eight years ago, a team of researchers launched a project to carefully repeat early but influential lab experiments in cancer research. They recreated 50 experiments, the type of preliminary research with mice and test tubes that sets the stage for new cancer drugs. The results reported Tuesday: About half the scientific claims didn't hold up. [...] For the project, the researchers tried to repeat experiments from cancer biology papers published from 2010 to 2012 in major journals such as Cell, Science and Nature. Overall, 54% of the original findings failed to measure up to statistical criteria set ahead of time by the Reproducibility Project, according to the team's [two studies] published online Tuesday by eLife. The nonprofit eLife receives funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which also supports The Associated Press Health and Science Department. Among the studies that did not hold up was one that found a certain gut bacteria was tied to colon cancer in humans. Another was for a type of drug that shrunk breast tumors in mice. A third was a mouse study of a potential prostate cancer drug. The researchers tried to minimize differences in how the cancer experiments were conducted. Often, they couldn't get help from the scientists who did the original work when they had questions about which strain of mice to use or where to find specially engineered tumor cells. "I wasn't surprised, but it is concerning that about a third of scientists were not helpful, and, in some cases, were beyond not helpful," said Michael Lauer, deputy director of extramural research at the National Institutes of Health. NIH will try to improve data sharing among scientists by requiring it of grant-funded institutions in 2023, Lauer said.

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