NYT: Are community cancer research sites reliable?

Some 400 community research sites are responsible for producing more data on new cancer therapies than the combined group of prestigious academic research centers in the U.S. Their diverse demographics are highly prized by developers looking for accurate insight into the efficacy of new drugs. But the New York Times uses the case of a whistleblower at one of the sites to question whether these community programs stick to the National Cancer Institute's strict research protocols.

The Times focuses on Suzanna Stratton, PhD, who demanded that the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL take action against its principal investigator after an audit flagged major deficiencies in 12 of 29 experiments. She was fired, she says, for making the claims, but federal officials have corroborated at least some of her accusations and are investigating others.

"I have concerns not just about patient safety, but the integrity of the data in the trials," says Stratton. "My larger concern is that there may be other community hospitals doing research that, like Carle, evolved in a vacuum."

- read the article in the New York Times