Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘cancer research’ Category

A university asked for numerous retractions. Eight months later, three journals have done nothing.

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Anil Jaiswal

When journals learn papers are problematic, how long does it take them to act?

We recently had a chance to find out as part of our continuing coverage of the case of Anil Jaiswal at the University of Maryland, who’s retracted 15 papers (including two new ones we recently identified), and has transitioned out of cancer research. Here’s what happened.

As part of a public records request related to the investigation, we received letters that the University of Maryland sent to 11 journals regarding 26 “compromised” papers co-authored by Jaiswal, four of which had been retracted by the time of the letter. The letters were dated between August and September 2016 (and one in February) — although, in some cases, the journals told us they received the letter later. Since that date, three journals have retracted nine papers and corrected another, waiting between four and six months to take action. One journal published an editorial note of concern within approximately two months after the university letter.

And six journals have not taken any public action.

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Cancer researcher earns 3 more retractions following NIH misconduct investigation

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A researcher formerly based at the National Cancer Institute has earned three new retractions following an investigation that found she committed misconduct.

In May of last year, Stephanie Watkins, who now works at Loyola Medicineearned one two retraction, which mentions a review by an investigation committee at the National Institutes of Health. Two of the new notes, published in Cancer Research, mention the review as well, and cite data falsification in a figure as the reason for retraction. Watkins is the only author that did not agree to those retractions.

There may be more changes to the literature — an editor at another cancer journal told us the journal is awaiting a decision from the Office of Research Integrity before deciding what to do with a paper by Watkins, given that she does not agree with the misconduct charges.

We’ll start with a retraction note from Cancer Research:

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Cancer Research retraction is fifth for Robert Weinberg; fourth for his former student

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13.coverAnother domino has fallen in a chain of retractions for Robert Weinberg, the man who discovered the first tumor-causing gene in humans, along with the first tumor suppressor gene: Cancer Research just retracted a paper of his on some of the molecular steps to metastasis.

The paper, “Concurrent Suppression of Integrin α5, Radixin, and RhoA Phenocopies the Effects of miR-31 on Metastasis,” has been cited 70 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. As we have noted before, Weinberg’s papers are frequently highly cited. His bio at the Whitehead Institute bills him as “a pioneer in cancer research.”

Four of Weinberg’s retracted papers — including this latest — share a first author: Scott Valastyan, once a very promising grad student in Weinberg’s lab. 

This retraction, like Valastyan’s others, is linked to his retracted 2009 Cell paper. (That paper was cited 482 times, and there’s even a video from the Cell press office to go with it). Read the rest of this entry »

Fourth retraction appears for cancer researcher Anil Jaiswal

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cancer research 1113The hits keep coming for University of Maryland researcher Anil Jaiswal.

The latest retraction for the cell biologist is in Cancer Research, for a 2007 paper about ways in which the cell tries to protect the tumor suppressor p53. Like the first Jaiswal retraction we covered, the latest notice specifically taps figure duplication as the cause of death, “as a result of an error.” The other two retractions gave no explanation for the withdrawal.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction appears for faked study of Novartis anti-cancer compound

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Raymond Sawaya, director of MD Anderson’s brain tumor program, presents Jun Fu with the 2014 Caroline Ross Endowment Fellowship.

Raymond Sawaya, director of MD Anderson’s brain tumor program, presents Jun Fu with the 2014 Caroline Ross Endowment Fellowship.

A paper by a former postdoc at MD Anderson Cancer Center who “admitted to knowingly and intentionally falsifying” a figure has been retracted.

In August, the Office of Research Integrity announced that it had sanctioned Jun Fu for faking data in a study of the results of a mouse study of NVP-HSP990, a Novartis compound designed to fight brain tumors. Here’s the notice for the study in question, published in Cancer Research:
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MD Anderson postdoc faked results of Novartis anti-cancer compound study

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jun fu

Raymond Sawaya, director of MD Anderson’s brain tumor program, presents Jun Fu with the 2014 Caroline Ross Endowment Fellowship.

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:

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Written by Ivan Oransky

August 1st, 2014 at 8:00 am

Former Hopkins and Pitt cancer researcher notches sixth retraction

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GetzenbergRobert Getzenberg, a former researcher at Hopkins and Pitt, has retracted a sixth paper, this one in Cancer Research.

Here’s the notice for “Mechanistic Analysis of the Role of BLCA-4 in Bladder Cancer Pathobiology:” Read the rest of this entry »

A third retraction stemming from Cardiff investigations

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cancer research 1113We’ve been reporting on retractions of research published by Cardiff University scientists following an investigation into their work. On Monday, we noted a new retraction of work by the group in Cancer Research, which we thought was the second retraction following one in the Journal of Immunology in 2011. But it turns out there was another retraction published at the same time in the same journal, which we now know about thanks to commenter David Hardman and PubPeer.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 13th, 2013 at 6:30 am

Second retraction stemming from Cardiff investigations appears

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cancer research 1113A second retraction of a paper by a Cardiff University researcher found to have committed misconduct has appeared.

In April, a Cardiff investigation found that Rossen Donev, a former researcher at the university, had manipulated images in four different papers. Donev, who was at the University of Swansea until August, according to his LinkedIn profile, and is now director of Biomed Consult Ltd., had already retracted a Journal of Immunology paper in late 2011 after a different Cardiff investigation.

The investigation cleared co-author and dean Paul Morgan of misconduct. Morgan resigned from Cardiff in August, but “he categorically denied that his decision had anything to do with the misconduct investigation,” according to Times Higher Education.

Here’s the new notice, from Cancer Research: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 11th, 2013 at 9:30 am

Researcher who threatened Retraction Watch with lawsuit corrects funding source for several papers

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Ariel Fernandez, source: Wikipedia

Ariel Fernandez, source: Wikipedia

Ariel Fernandez, an Argentine chemist (who claims to hold the fastest-awarded PhD from Yale) and the subject of institutional investigations at multiple universities, has corrected several papers recently. What makes the moves particularly unusual — and interesting — is the stated reason for the amendments: disclaiming any funding from the National Institutes of Health for the work.

Fernandez was the recipient in 2005 of a $275,880 award “Protein packing defects as functional markers and drug targets.” The following year he received $294,217, and in 2007, $284,461, for the same four-year project, if we’re reading the link correctly.

Fernandez, readers of this blog might recall, threatened us with legal action when we wrote last spring about an expression of concern regarding his 2011 paper in BMC Genomics, “Subfunctionalization reduces the fitness cost of gene duplication in humans by buffering dosage imbalances.” According to that notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

October 17th, 2013 at 9:30 am