Background: Considering that breast cancer is one of the most burdensome diseases our societies are facing, and given our lack of knowledge in the research field of the important disease, it is essential that we strategize research policies by identifying defects in research systems in each country. The goal of this study was to explore the published articles in this field and present the data required for the policy makers to re-organize the breast cancer research in Iran.
Methods: In this descriptive study, Pubmed searches were performed to find all the articles published on the title of breast “cancer”, “tumor”, “malignancy” and “Iran” from the beginning up to the end of January 2010. Different research categories of the articles were defined and validated by an expert panel. The abstracts of all 180 articles were reviewed and each article was put into the relevant category.
Results: Based on the available evidence the majority of articles have focused on molecular science (21%) and genetics (19%), while the remainder belonged to other categories like quality of life (9%), screening protocols (8%), epidemiology (7%), risk factor studies (6%), pathology (6%), patient knowledge and behavior (5%) and other clinical research fields (19%). The most used methodologies are cross-sectional (39%) and case-control (25%). The other articles are designed in formats such as experimental (8%), cohort (6%), case-report (6%), review article (4%) and others methodologies (12%).
Conclusion: Despite the increasing body of literature under the title of breast cancer since 2000 from Iran, still there are limited published articles in some important categories with strong levels of evidence of relevance, which calls for extra efforts to reassess the research system policies and budgeting standards.