Archive for the ‘oncology retractions’ Category
In case any pilots out there are worrying about their risk of prostate cancer based on a recent meta-analysis that found they are at least twice as likely to develop the disease, they should relax — the paper has been retracted.
The reason: “including inappropriate data from two studies that should be ineligible.”
“The risk of prostate cancer in pilots: a meta-analysis” reviewed eight studies to determine whether airline pilots, who are regularly exposed to radiation and other occupational hazards, have a higher incidence of prostate cancer. However, it also included studies that reported on prostate cancer among all U.S. Armed Forces servicemen, not pilots.
The retraction notice was posted in May — only months after it was published in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance in February. The notice included a letter to the editor outlining flaws in the meta-analysis and an apologetic response from first author, David Raslau at the Mayo Clinic.
Here’s the notice (appearing at the bottom of page 2):
Editors at BioMed Central have taken the unusual step of updating a retraction notice after an investigation found the authors were not responsible for a peer review process gone awry. The paper is one of dozens of other papers retracted in March for fake peer reviews.
That month, the paper “Clinical application of contrast enhanced ultrasound to diagnose benign prostatic hyperplasia” in Diagnostic Pathology was among the 43 papers retracted due to fake peer reviews. (Retractions for the phenomenon — more about it in our Nature feature here — are up to about 170.)
According to the update posted in July, an investigation into the paper by the Jiading Central Hospital in Shanghai, where the authors work, found that they “did not participate in influencing the peer review process.”
Here’s more from the update to the notice:
A third retraction — and a notice of concern — have emerged from the investigation into a husband and wife research team at the University of Toronto that found evidence of faked images and duplicated data.
The problem, according to the latest retraction note for Sylvia Asa and Shereen Ezzat, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation: Portions of the RT-PCR gels “are duplicated in this publication and in a subsequent publication.” That subsequent publication is a 2003 paper that has received a Notice of Concern from the American Journal of Pathology.
According to the retraction note, co-author Gillian E. Wu of York University signed off on the journal’s decision, but Asa, Ezzat and second author Lei Zheng dissented to the retraction. Third author Xian-Feng Zhu couldn’t be reached. Although corresponding author Asa noted that “the initial screen of these samples support the conclusions made in the paper,” the JCI made its position perfectly clear in the note:
Cancer biologist Rakesh Kumar has chalked up another retraction, this time for “identical,” “duplicated,” and “replicated” figures and images.
It comes on the heels of a flurry of motions in Kumar’s $8 million lawsuit against his employer, George Washington University, for breach of contract and emotional distress because it removed him as department chair last year and placed his research on hold. Kumar remains employed by the university.
The retracted paper, published in Development in 2004, “Metastasis-associated protein 1 deregulation causes inappropriate mammary gland development and tumorigenesis,” analyzed the role of a protein, MTA1, in mammary gland development and cancer. It was published while Kumar was at M.D. Anderson in Houston, and has been cited 81 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
By our count, Kumar now has three retractions and five corrections. Numerous anonymous comments on Kumar’s papers have been posted on PubPeer, many of them critiquing images. Here’s the complete notice from Development: Read the rest of this entry »
Following an investigation into research misconduct, the Journal of Clinical Investigation has retracted a cancer genetics paper from a laboratory at the National Institutes of Health due to “data falsification and fabrication” of four figures and a table in the paper.
The paper, “FOXO3 programs tumor-associated DCs to become tolerogenic in human and murine prostate cancer,” describes an overexpressed gene in mouse prostate cancers that appears to suppress immune system cells.
The journal retracted the paper following an investigation into author Stephanie K. Watkins, then a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute. According to a NIH press release released about the study in March 2011, the work “has led to the submission of a patent application by the NIH on behalf of Hurwitz and Watkins to target FOXO3 as a way to boost immune responses in cancer and to silence excessive immune responses in autoimmune diseases.” We found an NIH record of the patent application, but no record of an approved patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office under either Hurwitz or Watkins’ names.
Earlier this year, we reported on the retraction of a paper because of sloppy work by an outside lab. Now, we have the story of a retraction for “negligence” by a translator. Specifically, the author says the passages shared between the retracted 2015 vascular paper and another paper in EMBO Journal are a result of “negligence on the part of the translation company that I trusted to make my manuscript ready for submission.”
The corresponding author of a 2014 paper in the Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology has retracted the article because he was a bit too generous with his list of coauthors.
The article, “Outcome of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer: A tertiary care centre experience,” reviewed medical records from a local population of breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. It came from a group at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, in Chandigarh. The first author was Tapesh Bhattacharyya, followed by four other names.
Some of the figures were also reused between the two articles, both in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta General Subjects.
The articles both tested the cancer-fighting properties of a derivative of the active compound present in Boswellia serrata gum resin.
Noriyuki Takai, a gynecologic cancer researcher in Japan, has notched one more retraction — bringing the total to eight — due to figures that were “processed inappropriately” and did “not accurately report the original data.”
According to the notice, Takai alone put the figures together in the 2006 Oncology paper, which tested a histone deacetylase inhibitor on endometrial and ovarian cancer cell lines. The team is part of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Oita University in Japan.
These two new retractions, in Genes and Development, stem directly from another paper by Weinberg and colleagues in Cell that will apparently be retracted, as the “same analytical methodology was used,” according to the notices [see bottom of the post for an update].
Weinberg is highly regarded, and at least 20 of his papers have been cited over a thousand times.
First author Scott Valastyan was a promising postdoc at the time of the paper’s publication. He was a 2011 Runyon Fellow at Harvard, a three-year, $156,000 award for outstanding cancer postdocs. He doesn’t seem to have published anything since 2012, though he is listed as a joint inventor with Weinberg on patents filed in 2009 and 2014.
Here are the notices for “Concomitant suppression of three target genes can explain the impact of a microRNA on metastasis” (cited 73 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge) and “Activation of miR-31 function in already-established metastases elicits metastatic regression” (cited 54 times), both paywalled: Read the rest of this entry »