Quality of content reporting on two major oncology media websites: OncLive and Targeted Oncology

Author Department

Hematology/Oncology; Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Introduction: Oncology media websites such as Oncology Live (OncLive) and Targeted Oncology (TargetedOnc) play an important role in the dissemination of oncology news to patients and clinicians; however, the quality of the content on these websites has not been assessed. Our study aimed to analyze content from these websites and assess financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) amongst speakers interviewed on these websites.

Methods: Articles published on OncLive and TargetedOnc during October 2021, were prospectively captured and analyzed. The primary outcome of our study was the quality of oncology news reporting in OncLive and TargetedOnc. We assessed the FCOI amongst speakers using data from Open Payments.

Results: We examined 196 articles (OncLive 108, TargetedOnc 88). Limitations of cited research were reported in 7% (7/105) of OncLive and zero TargetedOnc articles. Benefit and risks in absolute numbers were reported in 28% (28/99) of OncLive and 16% (7/45) of TargetedOnc articles. Independent experts were quoted in 47% (51/108) and 51% (44/86) of the OncLive and TargetedOnc articles, respectively (Table 3). Pharmaceutical executives were quoted in 18% (20/108) and 11% (10/88) of OncLive and TargetedOnc articles, respectively. No FCOI disclosures were listed or reported for any articles. The mean general payment received from industry by United States physicians was $63,861 in 2019 and $39,639 in 2020.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates low quality and potentially biased reporting of oncology news on OncLive and TargetedOnc. Careful safeguards, oversight and reporting of relevant FCOI are needed to maintain the quality and transparency of content being provided.

Keywords: Bias; Financial conflict of interest; OncLive; Oncology news; Spin; Sunshine act; Targeted Oncology.