Federal regulations require that clinical trial results are posted, but how many are? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Clinical trial results are required by federal law to be posted within two years of a trial’s conclusion, with data available on a website called ClinicalTrials.gov. A recent study looked at how often researchers are complying. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says that number is just over half.

Nelson: Among the 7400, 7500 trials that did have their results reported, 38% of them were posted only on ClinicalTrials.gov, they did not appear in a scholarly publication. And I think what that probably is meaning is that ClinicalTrials.gov, as a registry function, may start to be a place where you can find trials results, even if the findings weren’t earthshattering enough to get into a scholarly publication. I think that’s probably where we’re headed.  :28

Nelson notes that even so-called ‘negative results’ are important in informing both the research community and the public about what doesn’t work, so moving toward 100% registration of results is an important goal. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.