We’ve seen a lot of retraction notices for work by Anil Potti — 10, to be precise, along with 7 corrections and one partial retraction notice. As notices go, they tend to be pretty complete. So when we saw one in CHEST for this 2008 abstract, we were expecting something similar.
Instead, we were confused.
Here’s the notice:
We would like to withdraw our abstract “Upregulated Oncogenic Pathways in Patients Exposed to Tobacco Smoke May Provide a Novel Approach to Lung Cancer Chemoprevention,” which appeared in CHEST2 and was presented as a poster on October 29, 2008.
The results reported in this abstract and poster presentation were obtained using chemotherapeutic predictors developed in the Nature Medicine article, “Genomic Signatures to Guide the Use of Chemotherapeutics”1,that have since been shown to be inaccurate, and the article has been retracted.3
The authors relied on the results reported by Potti1, and they were not aware of the errors subsequently reported. We apologize for any negative impact on scientific research or clinical care caused by the presentation of our abstract.
1. Potti A, Dressman HK, Bild A et al. Genomic signatures to guide the use of chemotherapeutics. [retracted in: Nat Med. 2011;17(1):135] Nat Med. 2006;12(11):1294-1300.
2. Redman RC, Acharya CR, Anguiano A et al. Upregulated oncogenic pathways in patients exposed to tobacco smoke may provide a novel approach to lung cancer chemoprevention [abstract]. Chest. 2008;134(4):158001S.
3. Potti A, Dressman HK, Bild A et al. Retraction: Genomic signatures to guide the use of chemotherapeutics. Nat Med. 2011;17(1):135.
This was the sentence we found difficult to interpret:
The authors relied on the results reported by Potti1, and they were not aware of the errors subsequently reported.
That’s because “The authors” include Potti, so “they” would seem to include him too. How exactly was he not aware of the errors subsequently reported?
We’ve asked one of the authors, and the journal’s editor, who actually signed the notice, since the journal doesn’t indicate that, and also asked what that sentence meant. We’ll update with anything we learn.
Potti is now working at a cancer center in North Dakota, the state where he completed some of his medical training. On September 8, neighboring Minnesota granted him a medical license, as DukeCheck reported. He had allowed his previous Minnesota license to expire in 2008.