ESR committee finds little sharing in imaging trials

Radiologists in Europe are performing and publishing a considerable number of imaging clinical trials, but data from these trials are only being shared in a minority of cases, according to a recent report from the European Society of Radiology (ESR) Research Committee.

Researchers led by Dr. Maria Bosserdt of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin surveyed 132 European heads of imaging departments and speakers at the Clinical Trials in Radiology sessions at ECR 2015-2018. They found that although 98% of respondents indicated they were interested in sharing data, only 34% had previously done so. For those interested in sharing data in the future, major barriers to sharing included data protection (78% of respondents), ethical issues (49% of respondents), and the lack of a data sharing platform (49% of respondents).

The researchers shared their findings in an article published online on 27 February in European Radiology and also during a presentation at ECR 2019 in Vienna.

"While there is great interest in sharing data generated by randomized imaging trials, and getting access to data from studies conducted by others, several barriers still need to be overcome to make widespread data sharing a reality," the authors wrote.

If data sharing was implemented more widely, higher evidence levels may be available for recommendations to be included in guidelines. Greater replication efforts could also help alleviate the "so-called reproducibility crisis," according to the researchers.

"Importantly, however, the pivotal contribution and insights of trial organizers and participants must not be forgotten by data scientists reanalyzing trial data," they wrote. "Incentives should be created to encourage data sharing in the field of radiology."

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