Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘lack of IRB approval’ Category

Clinical trial of Achilles tendon therapy retracted for not actually being a clinical trial

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JBJS_ak6The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery has retracted a 2012 paper because of ethical violations, initially flagged by the journal in 2013.

The study, which examined the use of autologous cell therapy in treating Achilles tendinosis, claimed in its abstract to have “conducted a randomized, double-blind study on forty Achilles tendons in thirty-two patients.” Apparently, though, it wasn’t actually a clinical trial but was somehow, according to the retraction notice, “misclassified” as such “in error.”

The problem was originally flagged by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, which wrote the journal to tell them that it hadn’t granted ethical approval for the study, as we reported in 2013. At the time, there was a question about whether the lead author had retained records of the results, which is addressed in the retraction notice, signed by editor-in-chief Marc F. Swiontkowski and editor-in-Chief Emeritus Vernon T. Tolo: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alla Katsnelson

May 14th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Yes, we are seeing more attacks on academic freedom: guest post by historian of science and medicine

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Alice Dreger2We’re pleased to introduce readers to Alice Dreger, a historian of science and medicine at the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program in Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Her new book is “Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science,” out this week from Penguin Press. Read to the end for a chance to win a free copy.

The good news: Policy makers and the public seem to be increasingly taking scientific research seriously. The bad news? People who don’t like researchers’ findings seem to be increasingly coming after researchers and their universities. And some of those people are powerful.

Technically, your university is supposed to protect your academic freedom. In my own university’s faculty handbook, academic freedom is the first topic discussed. But as I’ve learned from my own personal experiences, as well as from eight years studying the experiences of other researchers who have gotten into political hot water, your administration may not always have your back. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

March 12th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Asthma study yanked for serious ethical violations

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springerplusA paper in SpringerPlus on treating asthma with antioxidants was retracted on September 25 for something of a trifecta of ethical problems.

The retraction notice indicates that the patients never consented, there was no ethical review, and the university supposedly overseeing the study had no knowledge of it:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

October 13th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Yet another study of widely touted cancer “cure” retracted

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cancer immunology immunotherapyA third study of GcMAF, a protein being used to treat a variety of conditions from AIDS to autism to cancer, all without the blessing of health agencies, has been retracted.

Here’s the notice in Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy for “Immunotherapy of metastatic colorectal cancer with vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage-activating factor, GcMAF:” Read the rest of this entry »

Second study of widely touted cancer and HIV “cure” retracted

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j med virologyLast month, we brought you the story of the retraction of a paper by Nobutu Yamamoto and colleagues about “a protein being used — unapproved by health agencies — to treat diseases including cancer and autism.”

A second paper by the group, about using the protein to treat HIV, has been retracted. Here’s the notice for “Immunotherapy of HIV-infected patients with Gc protein-derived macrophage activating factor (GcMAF),” from the Journal of Medical Virology:
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 21st, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Paper about widely touted but unapproved “cure” for cancer, autism retracted

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int j cancerA paper about a protein being used — unapproved by health agencies — to treat diseases including cancer and autism has been retracted.

Here’s the notice from the International Journal of Cancer about a 2007 paper purporting to show that the substance, GcMAF, is useful against breast cancer: Read the rest of this entry »

Rapid mood swing: PNAS issues Expression of Concern for controversial Facebook study

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pnas 1113The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is subjecting a much-criticized study involving Facebook that it published just two weeks ago to an Expression of Concern.

From the abstract of the original study: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 3rd, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Dubai-ous: Journal yanks surgery paper for consent, data issues

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Low-Res-Annals-95_4-Cover-1_smallThe Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England has retracted a 2013 article by a group from Dubai and Italy after learning of serious issues with the data in the report.

The article, “Transanal haemorrhoidal dearterialisation with mucopexy versus stapler haemorrhoidopexy: a randomised trial with long term follow-up,” purportedly described a long-term telephone follow-up study of patients who had undergone the procedure. Here’s the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Ethics training paper retracted because data couldn’t be shared

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sci eng ethicsA group of authors at the University of Oklahoma have retracted a 2013 paper on ethics training after the university found that the data they used couldn’t be shared publicly.

Here’s the notice for “Improving Case-Based Ethics Training: How Modeling Behaviors and Forecasting Influence Effectiveness:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 25th, 2014 at 11:00 am

Co-author of retracted conspiracy ideation-climate skepticism paper addresses apparent contradictions

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Lewandowsky

Lewandowsky

We — and others — have been scratching our heads about the real reasons for the formal retraction on March 21 of a Frontiers in Psychology paper since the journal issued a statement on the subject on Friday that seemed to contradict the retraction notice and that certainly differed from accounts on some blogs. Today, we learned a few more details about what happened in the year between when the paper was provisionally removed and then formally retracted from a post by Stephan Lewandowsky, one of the co-authors of the paper.

The March 21 statement, writes Lewandowsky, Read the rest of this entry »