Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘oncology retractions’ Category

Cancer paper that doctored image from Science story earns retraction

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lungcancercoverHere’s a joke for all you middle-schoolers out there. How are doctored images like bad pennies? They keep cropping up!

Here’s the latest one we’ve picked up: Lung Cancer has retracted a 2014 paper on the genetics of tumors after concluding the authors cribbed a figure that had appeared in a 2005 feature story in Science.

The paper, “ß-elemene against human lung cancer via up-regulation of P53 protein expression to promote the release of exosome,” drew attention on PubPeer last September from a reader who noticed striking similarities between one of the images the authors used and a figure in the Science piece (subscription required). According to the PubPeer commenter: Read the rest of this entry »

Three HER2-cancer review papers tagged with expressions of concern

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The Oncologist Her 2 expression of concern

The Oncologist has tagged three review papers that share a first author with an expression of concern. The three papers, which have together been cited more than 1,000 times, focus on HER2, a gene that can contribute to breast cancer.

Though the papers contain errors, the conclusions — about how the HER2 gene serves as a predictive factor for breast cancer, and a target for therapies — remain unchanged, according to the EOC. The editor of the journal notes that the conclusions of the papers have been confirmed by other publications. Two of the papers are more than 10 years old, and today many patients continue to be treated with medications that target HER2, such as Herceptin.

Here’s the expression of concern:

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Paper on GI cancers linked to AIDS pulled for errors that upped tumor incidence

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gastroGastroenterology has retracted a 2012 article on GI cancers associated with AIDS after the authors, from the National Cancer Institute, acknowledged that a “programming” error led them to overestimate the incidence of the tumors.

The paper, “Increased Risk of Stomach and Esophageal Malignancies in People With AIDS,” received a significant amount of attention when it first appeared, including a press release from the American Gastroenterological Association and several news articles. Here are its primary findings, according to the abstractRead the rest of this entry »

Seven papers flagged earlier for fake reviews now retracted by Elsevier

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elsevierElsevier has now retracted the seven papers it flagged in October as being affected by fake peer reviews.

If you’re not keeping track, we are: We have logged a total of about 300 retractions for fake peer review, in which some aspect of the peer-review process becomes compromised — for instance, in the case of the newly retracted papers, authors appear to have created fake email accounts in order to pose as reviewers and give the green light to their own papers.

The same retraction note applies to five of the recently retracted papers:

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Scientists call for retraction of “seriously misleading” paper with asbestos industry ties

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EBPHEleven scientists are asking a journal to consider retracting an asbestos paper with industry ties for including “seriously misleading information,” “several wrong statements,” and thrice citing a journal that doesn’t appear to exist.

Editors of the journal, Epidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health, however, say they will not retract the article, based on the advice of two external reviewers.

An earlier correction for the paper,  “Further Studies of Bolivian Crocidolite – Part IV: Fibre Width, Fibre Drift and their relation to Mesothelioma Induction: Preliminary Findings,” cited previously undisclosed competing interests for four of the paper’s five authors.

Earlier this year, scientists criticized “gross mistakes” in another paper from three of the same authors: Edward Ilgren, Yumi Kamiya, and John Hoskins. EBPH subsequently issued two corrections but did not retract that paper. Read our full coverage here. Read the rest of this entry »

“A big mistake:” Paper about the dangers of Wi-Fi pulled for plagiarism

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A report that presents guidelines for treating people allegedly harmed by signals from Wi-Fi and mobile phones was pulled two weeks after publication for plagiarism.

However, the retraction note, published in the March issue of Reviews on Environmental Health, doesn’t use the word “plagiarism,” and instead blames the move on lost citations and errors. The editor of the journal, David Carpenter, told us the report — which takes the controversial stance that WiFi can cause harm to some people — was retracted because “major sections of it had been taken directly” from another source, without reference.

The journal didn’t catch the plagiarism because it didn’t send the report out for peer review, Carpenter said:

[W]e didn’t subject the article to the full peer review that is applied for all other submissions, and that always include an on-line search for plagiarism.

The reason, Carpenter told us: the paper “was the outcome of a large committee.”

Here’s the retraction note for “EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2015 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses:”

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NEJM: No plan to clarify wording that led to allegations of breached confidentiality

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NEJMThe New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has no plans to change the wording of an article that led to allegations of breached patient confidentiality and caused a minor social media firestorm this past weekend, the journal told Retraction Watch.

The paragraph in question appeared in an essay by Lisa Rosenbaum chronicling the history of power morcellation, a technique to remove gynecological organs that the FDA has subjected to a “black box warning” because it can also spread tumors: Read the rest of this entry »

NEJM corrects 3 papers after prominent cancer scientist left off credit for breakthrough

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.04.43 PMThe New England Journal of Medicine has corrected three highly cited papers to credit researchers who played a role in the work.

The papers describe a treatment in which engineered T cells fight leukemia, originally hailed as a “major advance” in the New York Times. Since the first paper appeared in 2011, co-author Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania has received more than $7 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, according to MIT Technology Review. But according to a newly published correction, the three NEJM papers failed to note in the acknowledgement section that an important component of the experiments was supplied by researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The correction, made 11 months after a request from co-author and Penn researcher David Porter, explains the contribution of the St Jude’s researchers:

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“We are living in hell:” Authors retract 2nd paper due to missing raw data

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ijcA 2006 paper investigating the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and celecoxib on prostate cancer cells has been retracted because it appears to contain panels that were duplicated, and the authors could not provide the raw data to show otherwise.

This is the second paper the authors have lost because they couldn’t furnish the original data to defend their work against allegations of image manipulation. The reason: the Institute for Cancer Prevention in New York, where the authors did the work, shut its doors abruptly in 2004, co-author Bhagavathi A. Narayanan told us. (The institute closed thanks to $5.7 million in grant that was misspent, the New York Post reported at the time.)

Recently, some of Narayanan’s papers have been questioned on PubPeer; her work has been the subject of an investigation at New York University, where Narayanan is now based.

Narayanan told us that the criticism of their work has deeply affected her and her co-authors:

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Do radiology journals retract fewer papers? New study suggests yes

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ajr.2016.206.issue-2.coverThere’s good news and bad news in radiology research, according to a new study: The number of retractions is increasing in radiology journals, but the rate of retraction remains lower than that seen in biomedical journals outside the field of radiology.

According to the study in the American Journal of Roentgenology, between 1986 and 2001, radiology journals retracted — at the most — one paper per year, but from 2002 to 2013, at least two papers were pulled each year. Overall, roughly 11 articles are retracted out of every 100,000 articles published in radiology journals — compared to 15 out of 100,000 for biomedical journals outside radiology.

Still, writes author Andrew Rosenkrantz in “Retracted Publications Within Radiology Journals:”

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Written by Alison Abritis

February 19th, 2016 at 9:30 am