Is redoing scientific research the best way to find truth?

R. Allan Mufson remembers the alarming letters from physicians. They were testing a drug intended to help cancer patients by boosting levels of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in their blood.
In animal studies and early clinical trials, the drug known as Epo (for erythropoietin) appeared to counteract anemia caused by radiation and chemo-therapy. It had the potential to spare patients from the need for blood transfusions. Researchers also had evidence that Epo might increased radiation tumor-killing power.
But when doctors started giving Epo or related drugs, called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, to large numbers of cancer patients in clinical trials, it looked like deaths increased. Physicians were concerned, and some stopped their studies early.

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