Dodgy figure in cord blood paper prompts Expression of Concern in oncology journal
The article, “Exvivo experiments of human ovarian cancer ascites-derived exosomes presented by dendritic cells derived from umbilical cord blood for immunotherapy treatment,” purported to show that:
tumor-specific antigens present on exosomes can be presented by DCs [dendritic cells] derived from unrelated umbilical cord blood to induce tumor specific cytotoxicity and this may represent as a novel immunotherapy for ovarian cancer.
But according to William C. S. Cho, editor of the journal, there’s reason to doubt the conclusions. As the notice explains:
In 2012 the journal was informed of apparent flaws in Figure 2 of Qi-Ling Li, Ning Bu, Yue-Cheng Yu, Wei Hua and Xiao-Yan Xin. Exvivo experiments of human ovarian cancer ascites-derived exosomes presented by dendritic cells derived from umbilical cord blood for immunotherapy treatment. Clinical Medicine: Oncology. 2008;2;461–7. doi: 10.4137/CMO.S776. The journal commenced an investigation in accordance with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines.
The journal was unable to complete a full investigation in accordance with the guidelines. In view of this, the journal must emphasise that no conclusions have been drawn on responsibility for the apparent flaws. In accordance with COPE guidelines the journal has published this expression of concern and recommends that readers interpret Figure 2 with caution.
The paper has yet to be cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Although we don’t have enough data at this point, we seem to be covering more expressions of concern lately. Is it just our imagination, or are they become more common?