A 2006 study that jolted the cancer world by claiming that 80% of lung cancer deaths could be prevented through widespread use of CT scans was underwritten almost entirely by $3.6 million in grants
from the Vector Group, parent company of the Liggett Group, maker of Liggett Select, Eve, Grand Prix and Quest cigarettes.
A review of tax records shows that the Vector-funded Foundation for
Lung Cancer: Early Detection, Prevention & Treatment underwrote most of the study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine
. A Vector spokesman says the company "had no
control or influence over the research."
"If you're using blood money, you need to tell people you're using blood money," says Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer
Society. Dr. Jeffrey M. Drazen, editor in chief of the medical journal, says he was surprised by the revelations. An increasing number of universities do not accept grants from cigarette makers, and
nearly all medical journals and associations demand that researchers accurately disclose financing sources.
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