Plan To Replicate 50 High-Impact Cancer Papers Shrinks To Just 18

Plan To Replicate 50 High-Impact Cancer Papers Shrinks To Just 18
Five years ago, researchers set out to replicate experiments from 50 high-impact cancer biology papers. Now, due to various challenges relating to a lack of funding and expertise, the project only expects to complete just 18 studies. Science Magazine reports: The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology (RP:CP) began in October 2013 as an open effort to test replicability after two drug companies reported they had trouble reproducing many cancer studies. The work was a collaboration with Science Exchange, a company based in Palo Alto, California, that found contract labs to reproduce a few key experiments from each paper. Funding included a $1.3 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, enough for about $25,000 per study. Experiments were expected to take 1 year.

Costs rose and delays ensued as organizers realized they needed more information and materials from the original authors; a decision to have the proposed replications peer reviewed also added time. Organizers whittled the list of papers to 37 in late 2015, then to 29 by January 2017. In the past few months, they decided to discontinue 38% or 11 of the ongoing replications, Errington says. (Elizabeth Iorns, president of Science Exchange, says total costs for the 18 completed studies averaged about $60,000, including two high-priced "outliers.") One reason for cutting off some replications was that it was taking too long to troubleshoot or optimize experiments to get meaningful results... So far, the project has published replication results for 10 of the 18 studies. "Five were mostly repeatable, three were inconclusive, and two studies were negative, but the original findings have been confirmed by other labs," reports Science Magazine. "In fact, many of the initial 50 papers have been confirmed by other groups, as some of the RP:CB's critics have pointed out."





Share on Google+



Read more of this story at Slashdot.