STAT News | Cancer centers sell out science when they advertise clinical trials as treatment



By Jonathan Kimmelman, associate professor at McGill University and director of its Biomedical Ethics Unit, and Alex John London (Carnegie Mellon) 

There is a lot of money behind providing cancer care, and cancer treatment centers spend an estimated $173 million on advertising each year. One of the ways they compete for patients is by offering a menu of clinical trial options and suggesting that participating in such trials gives patients an edge on their care.

As we argue in a recent Viewpoint article in JAMA Oncology, such messaging is not only misleading but also undermines the very norms of science that clinical trials — and cancer centers themselves — are supposed to advance.

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