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BEACON trial in colorectal cancer is “single worst reported,” says critic

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 16 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6057
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

A study of a chemotherapy-free targeted regimen for colorectal cancer published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine has been denounced as the “single worst reported randomised controlled trial.”

Vinay Prasad, a practising haematologist-oncologist and associate professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, harshly criticised the BEACON study on Twitter and in the podcast Plenary Session for failing to provide basic information and for numerous redactions in the original published protocol.1


The open label phase III trial in patients who had metastatic colorectal cancer with the BRAF V600E mutation was presented during an oral session at the 2019 European Society for Medical Oncology conference at the end of September and was simultaneously published online in the New England Journal of Medicine,2 although at the time of publication some parts of the study protocol were redacted.

In the trial 665 patients were assigned to triple therapy …

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