Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘oncology retractions’ Category

There’s “no evidence” research was conducted at all in retracted cancer paper

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cov200h (1)To one reader of a paper on a nerve cancer, the researchers, based at a hospital in China, seemed to have found a very large number of cases of a rare cancer to study. That observation triggered an investigation into the paper that led to its retraction — and the concern that the authors in the paper never did the research at all.

The authors say they recruited 156 patients who had a particular kind of cancer that affects the tissue around nerves, known as malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. For context on how rare that is: Other researchers found a mere 1,182 new cases over a nearly four-decade period in the U.S. The study, according to the methods section of the paper, was supposedly done with patients who had a specific type of the disease, and who were

consecutively recruited from Wuhan Union Hospital, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan (Hubei, China) between July 2000 and November 2012

According to the retraction note for “Common genetic variants in the microRNA biogenesis pathway are associated with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor risk in a Chinese population,” the hospital where the work was done never treated all of those patients:

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Written by Shannon Palus

October 6th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Fourth retraction for Einstein oncologist due to image manipulations

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home_cover (1)Two papers on a potential cancer drug have been retracted following an investigation that found “inappropriate manipulation of bands in gels.”

This makes four retractions by our count for Roman Perez-Soler, an oncologist at the Einstein College of Medicine, and for co-author Yi-He Ling, whose current affiliation is unknown.

Their previous two retractions, which we reported on in 2013, were also for image manipulation. At the time, Perez-Soler told us that Ling “accepted full responsibility for the changes” and he had “returned to his home country.”

The fresh retraction notes, from Molecular Pharmacology, provide a few specifics about the figures that were manipulated this time around.

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Cancer drug paper nulled by “statistical errors”

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12032Researchers have pulled a paper about a drug used to treat pancreatic tumors due to “statistical errors.”

The 2014 paper suggested a drug that appears to treat pancreatic tumors also works in Chinese patients. We’re not exactly sure what went wrong with “A randomized phase II study of everolimus for advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in Chinese patients,” however, because the retraction note is not particularly helpful. Here’s the whole thing, published in Medical Oncology: Read the rest of this entry »

Analysis of pilots with prostate cancer retracted for “inappropriate data”

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Aerospace Medicine and Human PerformanceIn 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):

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BMC editors update retraction after investigation clears authors of faking peer reviews

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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:

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Canadian researchers in legal battle over investigation object to third retraction

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The Journal of Clinical InvestigationA 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:

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Third retraction for GWU biologist as university seeks to dismiss his $8 million lawsuit

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Rakesh Kumar, via George Washington University

Rakesh Kumar, via George Washington University

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 »

NIH cancer paper retracted for faked data

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JCIFollowing 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.

The paper has been cited 62 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the full notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Author from China blames translation company for plagiarism in retracted vascular paper

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apjcpDo we need a “throwing vendors under the bus” category here at Retraction Watch?

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.”

Here’s more from the notice in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, written by Yong Jiang, of Laboratory Medical College, Jilin Medical College, China: Read the rest of this entry »

Authorship issues spell retraction for breast cancer paper

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ijmponcThe 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.

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