Making your study public before you start can be fun

On Monday I was finally able to start the clinical trial Everolimus for patients with relapsed/refractory germ cell cancer (RADIT), and I’m now looking forward to recruit the first patient. We aim to treat 25 patients with cancer of the testis with the mTOR inhibitor everolimus in this phase II trial, and eight German hospitals are participating.

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) requires, as a condition of consideration for publication in their journals, registration in a public trials registry. I registered my trial with Clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01242631. The registration process was straighforward, especially compared to all the other paperwork required for this trial.

The requirement for registration of clinical trials helps to prevent publication bias – meaning that negative results are likely to never be  published. Clinical trial registries make it unlikely that you will be “scooped”, as you know about the other studies addressing the same questions years before they finish.

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4 Responses to Making your study public before you start can be fun

  1. Travis says:

    How is it that clinical trial registries make it *harder* to get scooped? I would have thought that posting your study online would make it easier for others to scoop your ideas. For example, I’ve thought about discussing my thesis topic online, but worry about someone publishing a similar paper before I can complete the study (not that I’m against these sorts of registries – I think they’re incredibly important, I just wonder about how they impact scooping). Any thoughts?

    Travis

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  3. yes. I’m definetely agree with you travis!

  4. Martin Fenner says:

    Travis, I should have elaborated. The requirement of public registration of clinical trials before entering the first patient means that there are no surprise manuscript submissions from other research groups when you are ready to submit a manuscript. And because it is so complicated and time-consuming (2 years in my case) to start a clinical trial, it is difficult to impossible for others to copy our ideas and beat us to a publication. Does this make sense?