The impact of authors’ medical specialty on publication patterns and published results of adjuvant radiotherapy for WHO grade 2 meningiomas—a systematic review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionActa Neurochirurgica. 2021, 1-6. 10.1007/s00701-021-04797-0
Background The role of adjuvant radiotherapy after gross total resection (GTR) of WHO grade 2 meningioma remains unclear, and conflicting results have been published. We hypothesized that authors’ medical specialties could be associated with reported findings on the role of adjuvant radiotherapy after GTR of WHO grade 2 meningiomas. Method A systematic review was conducted in Embase and Medline databases, in addition to screening of all relevant bibliographies. Articles including patients aged 18 years or older, with histologically confirmed WHO grade 2 meningioma, were included. We extracted data on medical subspecialties using the author list. We registered study design, median follow-up, number of included patients, WHO classification in use, and years of study inclusion. Results Thirty-seven relevant studies were identified, where 34 (92%) were retrospective cohort studies, two studies (5%) were systematic reviews, and one study (3%) was a meta-analysis. If the last author was a radiation-oncologist, the study was more likely to favor adjuvant radiotherapy, and if a neurosurgeon was last author, the study was more likely to not advocate adjuvant radiotherapy (p=0.009). There was no significant association between study result and whether the study was published in a neurosurgical or oncological journal (p=0.802). There was no significant difference in follow-up time, years of inclusion, or number of included patients between studies favoring or not favoring adjuvant radiotherapy. Conclusions In this systematic review of the literature, we found that if a radiation-oncologist was the last author of the study, the study was more likely to favor adjuvant radiotherapy after gross total resection of WHO grade 2 meningioma. Clinicians and researchers should be aware of a possible genealogy bias in the neuro-oncological literature.