MSKCC Researchers Correct Financial Disclosures

After reports from ProPublica and The New York Times revealed that scientists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) failed to disclose financial relationships with health-care companies, several researchers there have filed updated conflict-of-interest disclosure forms with at least seven medical journals in recent weeks. The authors issuing corrections include Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, Michelle Bradbury, MD, PhD, and MSKCC CEO Craig B. Thompson, MD.

In updated disclosures to The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Dr. Thompson noted his relationships with Merck and Charles River Laboratories, from which he received hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2017. He resigned his positions on the boards of both companies in early October.

Dr. Wolchok – disclosing his financial interests in companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, BeiGene, Apricity Therapeutics, and Adaptive Biotech – corrected articles in Cancer Cell and The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Other submitted updates were rejected by journals as irrelevant to the articles’ subject matter.

Dr. Bradbury reported in Chemistry of Materials and ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces her personal and institutional connection with Elucida Oncology.

Earlier this year, José Baselga, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at MSKCC, was alleged to have failed to disclose industry ties with corporations like Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb in dozens of published research articles since 2013. That report led to Dr. Baselga’s resignation from the hospital in September, as well as a broad re-examination of conflict-of-interest (COI) disclosure practices within the medical community.

A spokesman for MSKCC said in a statement that the hospital had instructed its researchers to review their conflict-of-interest disclosures and submit corrections where necessary. The hospital also is initiating a broad review of its COI policies, including whether senior staff should be involved with publicly traded companies.

Sources: The New York Times and ProPublica, October 12, 2018.