Research Ethics Roundup: Clinical Trials with Newborns, Inclusion of Adverse Events in Published Studies, and Vice President Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot” Plans

This week’s Research Ethics Roundup reviews the complex issues surrounding clinical trials and infants, concerns about publications not including all of a study’s adverse events, and the vice president’s new “cancer moonshot” nonprofit.

Giving Newborns Medicine is a Dangerous Guessing Game. Can We Make It Safer?
Megan Scudellari reports for STAT about international efforts to increase the number of clinical trials conducted with infants. Currently, infants 28 days old or less are frequently given drugs that have not been studied for safety or effectiveness in children this young. However, IRBs and drug companies have expressed concern that enrolling newborns in studies exposes them to the potential for permanent injuries.

Hidden Side Effects: Medical Studies Often Leave Out Adverse Outcomes
In this Scientific American article, Ryan F. Mandelbaum highlights a PLOS Medicine article where British researchers found close to half of the published studies they reviewed left out certain adverse effects. Mandelbaum interviewed Dr. Yoon Loke, a co-author of the study, who argues that when patients sign a consent form to participate in a trial they should be able to request that all of the study results are eventually made public.

Biden to Tackle Broad Range of Cancer Issues, Including Drug Prices, After Leaving White House
In this Washington Post article, Laurie McGinley examines Vice President Biden’s plans to begin a nonprofit that will continue his work on the “cancer moonshot” initiative. The Vice President is hoping to continue his work on promoting data sharing and increasing clinical trial participation. Last year, he met with researchers across the country in a push for more collaboration in the scientific community.