Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Cancer team loses two papers for image manipulation

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bba_2A team spread across multiple institutions in China and McGill University in Canada has retracted two cancer papers over “inaccurate and inappropriately processed Western Blots.”

Some of the figures were also reused between the two articles, both in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta General Subjects.

The articles both tested the cancer-fighting properties of a derivative of the active compound present in Boswellia serrata gum resin.

Both notices say “the corresponding author has taken full responsibility.” Zu-Hua Gao is the corresponding author on both papers, along with Xian-Jun Qu in the paper about gastric carcinoma.

Here is the notice, which is almost identical between “Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) prevents human colonic adenocarcinoma growth through modulation of multiple signaling pathways” and “Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) inhibits human gastric carcinoma growth through modulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway“:

This article has been retracted at the request of the authors. It contained several inaccurate and inappropriately processed Western Blots. Some Figure panels of this article were also found in a second paper from the same group (Zhang et al. BBA General Subjects (2013) 1830, 3604–3615) that has also been retracted. The corresponding author has taken full responsibility and apologizes to the readers of BBA General Subjects for submitting and publishing the erroneous article and any inconvenience caused.

We have contacted Gau, Qu, and the journal, and will update if they respond.

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