Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Colon cancer study embargo lifted early after “gremlin in the machinery” leads to break

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eortcThe embargo on a colon cancer presentation at a Barcelona conference was lifted early Thursday after inadvertent breaks.

On Thursday morning, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) media consultant Emma Mason sent the following message to her press list:

Due to an embargo break by Spanish language media, we are lifting the embargo on the presentation by Prof Josep Tabernero at the EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium in Barcelona. The details of the presentation are:
Abstract no: LBA 11, “Phase I study of the selective BRAFV600 inhibitor encorafenib (LGX818) combined with cetuximab and with or without the ?-specific PI3K inhibitor alpelisib (BYL719) in patients with advanced BRAF mutant colorectal cancer”. Proffered papers, plenary session 8, Auditorium, 11.00 hrs, Friday 21 November.

It was embargoed to 00.01 hrs CET, Friday 21 November 2014 but you are free to report it from now.

The release is pasted below.

We are investigating the cause of the embargo break, and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

I asked Mason Friday whether she’d figured out what had happened. She told Embargo Watch (I added a link):

Yes, we did get to the bottom of it. As you may have seen, the Spanish websites that carried the EuropaPress story all had the embargo clearly marked at the top, so this suggested that it wasn’t an intentional break but rather a gremlin in the machinery somewhere – especially as we almost never have embargo problems with EuropaPress, who have always been very good and trustworthy.

So we talked to them and they responded very promptly and were horrified and very contrite. As we suspected, it was accidental – born of a combination of human error and systems.

Obviously, once the Spanish stories were published, we had no option but to lift the embargo on the release and publish the late breaking abstract immediately. However, given that it was a genuine mistake and EuropaPress were very apologetic and responded very promptly, we have decided not to take any action against them on this occasion.


Written by Ivan Oransky

November 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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