Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

PNAS lifts embargo on cancer detection study after reporting by Sunday Times, Daily Mail

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pnas juneThe Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early yesterday on a study of a potential new blood marker for cancer after two newspapers reported on the findings before the scheduled lift time of 3 p.m. Eastern today.

Here’s the top of an email sent to reporters yesterday:

Due to an embargo break, PNAS is lifting the embargo early on the following paper. All other articles are under the scheduled embargo:

•     Blood-based tumor detection

A tumor-specific minicircle reporter can generate a potential blood-based biomarker to enable early tumor detection, according to a study. To be clinically useful, blood-based biomarkers for early tumor detection should display sufficient concentrations, broad applicability to various tumor types, and high specificity to tumor cells.

PNAS tells us the “embargo break” was reporting by the Sunday Times and Daily Mail. But unless things have changed, the Sunday Times has never agreed to embargoes, so the hunch here at Embargo Watch is that the paper obtained the material elsewhere, and the Daily Mail may have just picked that up. Indeed, both stories refer to conference announcements by the authors some time ago.

PNAS tells us they’re looking into the circumstances.


Written by Ivan Oransky

February 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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