New Allegations Surface in Controversy Over Breast Cancer Risk from Hormone Replacement Therapy

New Allegations Surface in Controversy Over Breast Cancer Risk from Hormone Replacement Therapy
News stories about a clinical trial in 2002 prompted many postmenopausal women to avoid hormone replacement therapy out of fear they would develop breast cancer. The study also touched off a controversy among researchers about whether the presentation of the trial results was accurate or misleading. Now the clinical trial's principal investigator is contending that the researchers who did the study misrepresented some of the findings and failed to follow standard scientific-research protocol. The question this raises once again is whether hormone replacement therapy is safe, or not. In his article, "The evidence base for HRT: what can we believe?," Professor Robert D. Langer argues that a small group of the study's investigators "hijacked" the data. One of his accusations is that the group incorrectly reported that the study was cut short because of higher risks of women developing breast cancer and heart attacks from the hormonal treatment. The serious allegations against some of the investigators in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI; NCT00000611) suggest that the study reporting violated guidelines on how trial data should be presented. "This new study raises questions about due process surrounding the data evaluation, writing, author approval and publication of the original WHI paper,” Rodney Baber, professor and editor in chief of the Climactericthe journal that published Langer’s article, said in an accompanying editorial. Baber's piece had the telling title,
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