OBJECTIVE: To retrospectively review recent publications describing novel procedures/techniques, and describe the Institutional Review Board (IRB)/ethics approval process and potential ethical dilemmas in their reporting.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched PubMed for papers about innovative or novel procedures/techniques between 2011 and August 2012. A query of titles/abstracts in the Journal of Urology, Journal of Endourology, European Urology, BJU International, and Urology identified relevant papers. These results were reviewed for human studies that described an innovative technique, procedure, approach, initial series, and/or used new technology.
RESULTS: In all, 91 papers met criteria for inclusion; 25 from the Journal of Endourology, 14 from the Journal of Urology, nine from European Urology, 15 from the BJU International and 28 from Urology. IRB/ethics approval was given for an experimental procedure or database in 24% and 22%, respectively. IRB/ethics approval was not mentioned in 52.7% of studies.
CONCLUSIONS: Published IRB/ethics approvals for innovative techniques are heterogeneous including database, retrospective, and prospective approvals. Given the concept that innovations are likely not in the legal or ethical standard of care, strong consideration should be given to obtaining IRB/ethics approval before the actual procedure, instead of approval to merely report database outcomes.
Sundaram V, Vemana G, Bhayani SB. Are you the author?
Division of Urology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.
Reference: BJU Int. 2013 Aug 13. Epub ahead of print.
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