Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Three more retractions for weight loss surgeon Edward Shang for making up data

with 5 comments

Edward Shang, the weight loss surgeon who lost his job at the University of Leipzig in May after it was revealed that he had made up most, if not all, of the patients in his research studies at the University of Mannheim, has retracted three more papers.

Here’s the notice, which is a bit, um, lean, given what we know about the case:

Shang E, Geiger N, Sturm JW, Post S. Pump-assisted versus gravity-controlled enteral nutrition in long-term percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy patients: a prospective controlled trial. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2003;27:216-219. (Original DOI: 10.1177/0148607103027003216)

Shang E, Geiger N, Sturm JW, and Post S. Pump-assisted enteral nutrition can prevent aspiration in bedridden percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy patients. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2004;28:180-183. (Original DOI: 10.1177/0148607104028003180)

Shang E, Weiss C, Post S, Kaehler G. The Influence of early supplementation of parenteral nutrition on quality of life and body composition in patients with advanced cancer. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2006;30:222-230. (Original DOI: 10.1177/0148607106030003222)

The authors of the above articles have requested their withdrawal, notifying the Journal that the clinical trials described in the articles were not conducted as written in the article. The Editor-in-Chief, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and the Publisher have determined to retract the articles.

The first paper has been cited three times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, while the third one has been cited 32 times.

We’ve asked the editor of JPEN why the notice says so little, given how much information is available about the case, but she is away from her office until late next week, according to an her email auto-reply.

Shang has already retracted a study in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, and one in Obesity Surgery. A May 9 University of Leipzig press release refers to a total of six retractions, so there is apparently one more on the way.

Hat tip: David Hardman

  • Neuroskeptic June 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Will his career recover? Fat chance.

    • Marco June 23, 2012 at 2:37 am

      It’s a heavy burden, all those retractions!

  • DLM June 24, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Nobody knows the long term risks of those surgeries, and they’re being touted as safe and effective. If falsified data is a common problem in the research on weight loss surgery (and apparently it is with this guy), then people are probably dying and permanently damaging their health because they are being prevented from making informed decisions before going under the knife.

    But by all means, crack out the fat jokes. HA HA.

  • Federico Bozzetti July 3, 2012 at 6:04 am

    What about the paper of the same group published in Colorectal Dis NOVEMBER 2009 by the same group (Hasenberg et al.) and apparently is the further development of their research on HPN in advanced cancer patients??

  • Jim August 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm


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