An oncology journal has decided to retract a 2012 paper on gastric cancer after discovering duplicated data in multiple figures.
According to the retraction notice, the journal’s editorial board received a tip from a reader regarding the potential figure issues. Oncology Reports launched an investigation, which confirmed the allegations. The authors failed to respond to the journal’s multiple requests for more information.
Here’s the retraction notice:
Following the publication of this article, an interested reader drew to the attention of the Editorial Board that the above article appeared to contain a series of Figures that featured duplicated data. Following an internal investigation, the Editorial Board reached the conclusion that the allegations of the reader were well-founded. Specifically, the GAPDH bands shown in Figs. 2 and 3 are identical with those in Figs. 4C and 5D, with the exception that the images have been reversed. Furthermore, certain data in Fig. 4C of this paper appeared to have been shared with Fig. 3 in the following article (albeit for purportedly different experiments): Zhang J, Zhu J, Zhou Z, Chen W and Chen N: Inhibitory effects of ethyl pyruvate on invasion and metastasis of human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells via downregulation of Akt pathway. China J Cancer Prev Treat (Chin) 39: 776-779, 2012. Despite numerous attempts at doing so, we were unable to receive any response to our request for further information from the authors of this article. Given the extent of the anomalies with the data between the aforementioned papers, the Editorial Board has therefore decided to retract the article from Oncology Reports. We regret any inconvenience in this regard. [the original article was published in the Oncology Reports 27: 1511-1519, 2012; DOI: 10.3892/or.2012.1623]
The paper, “Inhibitory effects of ethyl pyruvate administration on human gastric cancer growth via regulation of the HMGB1-RAGE and Akt pathways in vitro and in vivo,” has been cited 21 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, formerly part of Thomson Reuters.
For comparison, see figures 5D (left) and 2B (right) from the paper:
We’ve reached out to the journal’s editor-in-chief Demetrios Spandidos for more information on the investigation, as well as the study’s corresponding author professor Jin-Shui Zhu, from the Sixth People’s Hospital in China, for additional insight, but have received no responses.
Zhu was the last author on a 2010 paper that was retracted in 2011. The notice – like the article, “Effects of oxymatrine injection combined with low-dose paclitaxel on mRNA and protein expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor and CXC chemokine receptor 4 in human gastric carcinoma SGC-7901 cells” in the Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, which is not indexed by Clarivate Analytics – is in Chinese, and not available on PubMed.
We will update the post if we learn anything new.
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