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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

JCO makes it official, retracting paper co-authored by Anil Potti

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We have a follow-up to our post two weeks ago about a possible retraction in the case of Anil Potti, the Duke cancer researcher who falsely claimed to be a Rhodes Scholar and may have also faked an analysis of how breast cancer responds to chemotherapy.

In that post, we noted that the Raleigh News & Observer had reported that one of Potti’s collaborators, Duke’s Joseph Nevins, had requested that a 2007 paper they co-authored be retracted. The journal told us this morning that the retraction went live yesterday. In it, the authors write:

The authors wish to retract this article because they have been unable to reproduce the experiments demonstrating a capacity of a cisplatin response signature to validate in either a collection of ovarian cancer cell lines or ovarian tumor samples. Because these results are fundamental to the conclusions of the paper, the authors formally retract the paper. We deeply regret the impact of this action on the work of other investigators.

The paper is now marked with a retraction. As we noted in our earlier post, it has been cited 49 times, and was already the subject of a correction in the June 1, 2010 issue of the journal.

Did Potti agree to the retraction? He would have had to, according to the journal’s policy as described to us earlier this month, but we’re waiting for confirmation [Update, 11:00 a.m. Eastern 11/17/10: The journal confirms that all of the authors agreed to the retraction and its language.]:

Prior to retracting any paper, JCO must receive a signed statement from each author saying that he or she agrees that the article should be retracted and that the wording of the retraction is satisfactory to him or her.

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