Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘cancer research’ Category

UCSF, VA investigations find “clear evidence” of misconduct in cancer papers

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Earlier this year, the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center teamed up to write a letter.

Addressed to the editorial office at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the letter, parts of which have been published in a retraction notice, contained information concerning two papers on genetic risk factors for a type of kidney cancer and a type of uterine cancer, respectively, published in different AACR journals over a decade ago by researchers affiliated with the institutions.

The papers had been at the center of research misconduct investigations at both UCSF and the VA and the investigations came to the conclusion that both papers contained:

fabrication or falsification of data that constitutes Research Misconduct.

Though one of the papers has been retracted, it’s unclear what will happen to the other. [Note: See update at the bottom of the post.] Read the rest of this entry »

Drip, drip: UCLA investigation finds more image duplications

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Image duplications and unsupported data continue to plague a network of cancer researchers that includes the former vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Los Angeles, James Economou.

On July 2, the editors at Cancer Research retracted a 2011 paper that Economou published as last author, saying it suffered from image duplication and unsupported figures. This is the second retraction we’re aware of to come out of an investigation by UCLA’s Office of Research Policy and Compliance that has touched this group of scientists.

Here’s the notice for “Molecular Mechanism of MART-1+/A*0201+ Human Melanoma Resistance to Specific CTL-Killing Despite Functional Tumor–CTL Interaction,” which says the retraction comes at the request of UCLA: Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

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:
Read the rest of this entry »

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

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