Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Trade mag and blog break coffee-head and neck cancer study embargo

with one comment

Minutes after I posted that I was putting Embargo Watch under embargo until June 30, we got this notice from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR):

The embargo has been lifted on the AACR press release: “Coffee May Protect Against Head and Neck Cancers,” due to a violation by Drug Discovery and Development and the Sci-Tech Heretic blog. Reporters may post their stories effective immediately.

The study was embargoed until Tuesday, June 22.

That the embargo was broken on a coffee-cancer study isn’t particularly surprising. The Drug Discovery and Development story went live three days ago, according to the story’s date stamp. So did the Sci-Tech Heretic’s blog post. I hadn’t seen either until looking for them after the embargo lift notice.

It’s the second break in the AACR’s Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal in 10 days. The one on June 8 was by CNN.

I emailed AACR to find out if there will be sanctions. I’ll update if I hear back by tomorrow, when I leave for that vacation. But if anyone else hears after that, please feel free to leave a comment on this post.

Thanks — sort of — to the commenters on my vacation post and others who alerted me to this. It seems appropriate to quote The Godfather’s Michael Corleone: “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.”

Update, 6:10 p.m. Eastern, 6/18/10: AACR’s Michele Leiberman tells me by email:

We contacted both outlets that broke the embargo. Drug Discovery and Development made a human error. We are waiting to hear back from the blog. We would not impose sanctions in the case of human error, especially if the break is an isolated incident.


Written by Ivan Oransky

June 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Interesting article.

    Hot tea dirinking was emphasized as esophageal carcinoma risk factor formerly by Farhad Islami et al. (Tea drinking habits and oesophageal cancer in a high risk area in northern Iran: population based case-control study – BMJ 2009; 338 doi: 10.1136/bmj.b929)

    Hot coffee drinking may have similar risks and it can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease also.



    December 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: