Bismuth adjuvant and adverse effects of chemotherapy: issues with statistical analyses
To the Editor of Supportive Care in Cancer,
Your recent publication “Bismuth adjuvant ameliorates adverse effects of high-dose chemotherapy in patients with multiple myeloma and malignant lymphoma undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation: A randomised, double-blind, prospective pilot study” by Hansen and Penkowa (H+P)  was brought to our attention by recent mention in the public media.
In the article, the authors investigate the effect of using a bismuth adjuvant on various features of chemotherapy-related toxicity. However, several of the statistical significances reported in the manuscript appear to contradict the results presented in the figures, and the p values listed are considerably lower than what would be expected from the data presented. The discrepancies are so large that several conclusions are wrong.
The paper contains sufficient information about the statistical methods and the data to enable reproduction of their key results, however, when we try...
- 1.Hansen PB, Penkowa M (2017) Bismuth adjuvant ameliorates adverse effects of high-dose chemotherapy in patients with multiple myeloma and malignant lymphoma undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation: a randomised, double-blind, prospective pilot study. Support Care Cancer 25:1279. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-016-3522-6 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 2.R Core Team (2016). R: a language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, AustriaGoogle Scholar