A former postdoc at MD Anderson Cancer Center faked the results of a mouse study of a Novartis compound designed to fight brain tumors, according to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).
Jun Fu “admitted to knowingly and intentionally falsifying Figure 8a” in “Novel HSP90 Inhibitor NVP-HSP990 Targets Cell-Cycle Regulators to Ablate Olig2-Positive Glioma Tumor–Initiating Cells,” a paper published in Cancer Research on May 15, 2013:
Specifically, the Respondent falsified survival times of mice to show that NVP-HSP990 prolonged survival rates in glioblastoma tumor bearing mice when experimental data were incomplete and unusable.
Fu agreed to have his research supervised for two years, and that he would not serve on any NIH peer review committees for the same period of time.
It’s unclear what will happen to the paper in question, which has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. MD Anderson, according to the ORI,
recommended that the senior author of this paper take any appropriate steps with the journal to correct the scientific literature.
Here’s more information on NVP-HSP990, which has been tested in early-stage clinical trials. One phase I study was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting last year.
The case seems to have moved quickly. Just three months ago, MD Anderson announced that Fu was one of the winners of the 2014 Caroline Ross Endowment Fellowship.
Update, 12:15 pm Eastern, 8/1/14: Al Yung, the corresponding author of the Cancer Research paper, confirmed for us that Fu is no longer employed by MD Anderson, and that the team plans to retract the paper.