Conflict of Interest Disclosure in Oncology: Preliminary Insights From the Global ONCOTRUST-1 Cross-Sectional Study

Khalid El Bairi, Salma Najem, Arman Reza Chowdhury, Abeid Omar, Omar Abdihamid, Laure Anne Teuwen, Nada Benhima, Ainhoa Madariaga, Safa Elkefi, Fernando Cristobal Diaz, Sadaqat Hussain, Kristina Jenei, Nazik Hammad, Miriam Mutebi, Fidel Rubagumya, Dario Trapani, Nadia El Kadmiri, Nasser Laouali, Maryam Fourtassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Conflicts of interest (COIs) between oncologists and industry might considerably influence how the presentation of the research results is delivered, ultimately affecting clinical decisions and policy-making. Although there are many regulations on reporting COI in high-income countries (HICs), little is known about their reporting in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Oncology Transparency Under Scrutiny and Tracking (ONCOTRUST-1) is a pilot global survey to explore the knowledge and perceptions of oncologists regarding COI. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We designed an online 27-question-based survey in the English language to explore the perceptions and knowledge of oncologists regarding COI, with an emphasis on LMICs. Descriptive statistics and the Consensus-Based Checklist for Reporting of Survey Studies guidelines were used to report the findings. RESULTS: ONCOTRUST-1 surveyed 200 oncologists, 70.9% of them practicing in LMICs. Median age of the respondents was 36 (range, 26-84) years; 47.5% of them were women. Of the respondents, 40.5% reported weekly visits by pharmaceutical representatives to their institutions. Regarding oncologists' perceptions of COI that require disclosure, direct financial benefits, such as honoraria, ranked highest (58.5%), followed by gifts from pharmaceutical representatives (50%) and travel grants for attending conferences (44.5%). By contrast, personal or institutional research funding, sample drugs, consulting or advisory board, expert testimony, and food and beverage funded by pharmaceutical industry were less frequently considered as COI. Moreover, only 24% of surveyed oncologists could correctly categorize all situations representing a COI. CONCLUSION: These findings underscore the importance of clear guidelines, education, and transparency in reporting COI in oncology. This hypothesis-generating pilot survey provided the rationale for ONCOTRUST-2 study, which will compare perceptions of COI among oncologists in LMICs and HICs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2400167
JournalJCO Global Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024


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