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Industry Speaks Out on Study Linking Moisturizer and Cancer in Mice

Posted: January 23, 2009

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Dodgy statistics?

However, scientists from Beiersdorf and Pharmaceutical Specialties, manufacturers of Eucerin and Vanicream respectively, have responded with a number of complaints focusing on the study design, the statistical treatment of results and the relevance of the findings for humans.

Franz Staeb and fellow researchers from Beiersdorf picked apart the statistical analysis of the data, claiming the sample size of 30 mice was not big enough to make relevant conclusions. “Taken together, we have serious doubts about the validity of the statistical analysis and relevance of the conclusion drawn from the results,” wrote the Beiersdorf scientists.

For Ralph Ellefson, a consultant at Pharmaceutical Specialties, the main gripe was the allusions to human relevance that he felt the original authors had made. He took issue with suggestions that the model using UVB-pretreated high risk mice resembled humans who had undergone UV exposure early in life.

Study could damage manufacturers’ reputation