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Publication Detail
Duplicated network meta-analysis in advanced prostate cancer: a case study and recommendations for change
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Fisher DJ, Burdett S, Vale C, White IR, Tierney JF
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Systematic Reviews
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  • Issue:
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  • Keywords:
    Case study, Network meta-analysis, Prostate cancer, Published data, Research duplication, Scoping review, Male, Humans, Network Meta-Analysis, Abiraterone Acetate, Prostatic Neoplasms, Docetaxel
  • Notes:
    Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Background: Research overlap and duplication is a recognised problem in the context of both pairwise and network systematic reviews and meta-analyses. As a case study, we carried out a scoping review to identify and examine duplicated network meta-analyses (NMAs) in a specific disease setting where several novel therapies have recently emerged: hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer (mHSPC). Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE were systematically searched, in January 2020, for indirect or mixed treatment comparisons or network meta-analyses of the systemic treatments docetaxel and abiraterone acetate in the mHSPC setting, with a time-to-event outcome reported on the hazard-ratio scale. Eligibility decisions were made, and data extraction performed, by two independent reviewers. Results: A total of 13 eligible reviews were identified, analysing between 3 and 8 randomised comparisons, and comprising between 1773 and 7844 individual patients. Although the included trials and treatments showed a high degree of overlap, we observed considerable variation between identified reviews in terms of review aims, eligibility criteria and included data, statistical methodology, reporting and inference. Furthermore, crucial methodological details and specific source data were often unclear. Conclusions and recommendations: Variation across duplicated NMAs, together with reporting inadequacies, may compromise identification of best-performing treatments. Particularly in fast-moving fields, review authors should be aware of all relevant studies, and of other reviews with potential for overlap or duplication. We recommend that review protocols be published in advance, with greater clarity regarding the specific aims or scope of the project, and that reports include information on how the work builds upon existing knowledge. Source data and results should be clearly and completely presented to allow unbiased interpretation.
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