Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘surgery retractions’ Category

Biologist under investigation asks journal to swap image, journal retracts the paper

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Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson, via the University of Gothenburg

Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson, via the University of Gothenburg

When a researcher discovered one of the images in her papers was a duplication, she asked the journal to fix it — but the journal decided to retract the paper entirely.

The researcher, Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson, is currently being investigated by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden after a number of her papers were questioned on PubPeer. She told us the duplication was the result of ‘‘genuine human error.’’ Tissue Engineering Part A, however, decided the request to swap the image was a ‘‘cause for concern,’’ and chose to retract the paper. 

Here’s the retraction notice:

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Non-retraction notice: Editors explain why two similar papers aren’t redundant

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abdominal radiologyEditors have published a notice to let readers know why they’re not retracting a couple of papers.

One paper examined whether the results of CT scans could be used to stage patients with uterine carcinoma; the other considered whether CT scans could be used to predict overall survival in uterine carcinoma. Both papers — by researchers at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center — used data from the same 193 women. After they appeared in in different journals, the editors considered whether they were redundant — a quality that can spell retraction for a paper.

The editors explain why they decided the papers were unique in a brief commentary — a non-retraction notice, if you will — published in a third journal, Abdominal Radiology:

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Macchiarini did not obtain necessary ethics approvals, says Swedish Research Council

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lancetSurgeon Paolo Macchiarini did not apply for the necessary ethics approval to perform the pioneering transplants he’s known for, according to the Swedish Research Council.

Chief Legal Counsel Anna Hörnlund, who wrote a letter in this week’s The Lancet, says Macchiarini’s work needed to obtain ethical approval from one of six regional ethical review boards, as required by Swedish law — and neither Macchiarini nor his former employer, Karolinska Institutet, did so:

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Written by Alison McCook

May 2nd, 2016 at 11:30 am

Team in Japan earns third retraction for misconduct

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JSRA team of researchers has earned its third retraction after an investigation at Oita University in Japan found instances of misconduct in their research.

The most recent notice mentions the investigation, and specifies that the first author, Satoshi Hagiwara, was responsible for the problematic figures in the paper. Hagiwara is also the first author on two retracted papers we reported on last year; one of the earlier retractions also mentions the investigation, but does not assign responsibility to any particular author. All three papers share three authors.

The retraction notice for “Continuous Hemodiafiltration Therapy Ameliorates LPS-Induced Systemic Inflammation in a Rat Model,” published in the Journal of Surgical Research, explains the issues with the paper:

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Poll: Should co-authors of a scientific paper be allowed to change their minds?

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lancetSince we reported Friday that multiple authors had asked to remove their names from a high-profile 2011 Lancet paper about a risky transplant surgery, a few readers have wondered: Should this be allowed?

To recap: The same day the journal announced it was tagging the controversial paper with an expression of concern, it issued a new erratum about the paper, removing three author names (one had already asked to be removed earlier). The highly cited paper has been under scrutiny ever since the last author, Paolo Macchiarini, has been facing allegations of misconduct, which most recently led to Macchiarini’s dismissal from the Karolinska Institutet. (Here’s our timeline of events to keep you abreast.)

It’s not surprising that a few of Macchiarini’s co-authors would want to distance themselves from this ever-expanding scandal, but should authors who originally signed onto a paper be able to change their minds? Let us know in our poll, below. Read the rest of this entry »

Lancet issues expression of concern for 2011 Macchiarini paper

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Paolo Macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

The Lancet has tagged an expression of concern onto a seminal 2011 paper by Paolo Macchiarini, the Italian surgeon whose work and conduct outside the operating room has earned months of  heavy criticism that recently culminated in his dismissal from the Karolinska Institutet.

Tracheobronchial transplantation with a stem-cell-seeded bioartificial nanocomposite: a proof-of-concept study,” which described the first case of a transplant using an artificial trachea seeded with the patient’s own stem cells, now bears an expression of concern from The Lancet editors, citing ongoing investigations. The journal has also removed three more authors from the paper, upon their request.

The expression of concern essentially presents the timeline of the controversy that led the journal to make this move:

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Son sees dead father in case report, requests retraction

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ijscrAuthors have retracted a case report describing a surgery to remove gallstones in a patient with Crohn’s disease after learning they’d mixed up two cases, and instead reported on a patient who had died 21 days after the procedure.

We were alerted to this story by La Repubblica, and contacted by the son of the patient (who asked not to be named, for privacy reasons). He told us he found the study and asked the journal to retract it:

…I can say that it was absolutely devastating to realise that the pictures I was looking at were from the surgery that led to the death of my father. It is something that gives me a lot of sorrow thinking that the man in that picture with the open belly was him, when he was fighting for his life. I asked the rest of my family not to see them to avoid them the same shock.

Even before the retraction appeared, we received confirmation it was coming from Giuseppe Paolisso, the Principal of the School of Medicine at the Second University of Naples, where the authors are based: Read the rest of this entry »

Ethics committee asks journal to retract paper about controversial growth-stunting treatment

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A journal has retracted a paper on a controversial course of treatment used to stunt the growth of disabled children, at the request of the human research ethics committee at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

The paper described the so-called Ashley Treatment — explored last week in the New York Times — in which disabled children receive hormones and procedures to keep them small and diminish the effects of puberty, making it easier for them to be cared for. The retracted paper analyzed the use of the treatment in a girl named Charley who was born in New Zealand with a brain injury, whose case has attracted the attention of The Washington Post and People magazine, among other outlets.

The paper analyzed Charley’s case, and did not involve any clinical subjects. But the retraction note suggests that the ethics of publishing this paper weren’t fully worked out:

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Family squabble over safety of eye therapy forces journal to pull paper

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Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 5.41.35 PM

A father and son are fighting over whether a laser therapy they describe as co-authors of a 2015 paper could be harmful to patients, prompting the journal to retract the article.

The small study suggested that the therapy could safely treat patients with glaucoma. But Tomislav Ivandic — the father — alleges that errors in how the study was reported could lead to harmful doses of laser light for patients receiving the therapy. His son and co-author, Boris Ivandic, maintains that the article is accurate.

To err on the side of patient safety, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery retracted “Effects of Photobiomodulation Therapy on Patients with Primary Open Angle Glaucoma: A Pilot Study.”

The retraction note explains the dispute:

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Biologist’s research under investigation in Sweden after being questioned on PubPeer

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Holgersson

Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson

The University of Gothenburg in Sweden is investigating several papers co-authored by biologist Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson after they were challenged on PubPeer.

Sumitran-Holgersson already has one retraction under her belt — of a 2005 Blood paper, after another investigation concluded the results “cannot be considered reliable.” Sumitran-Holgersson and her husband, co-author Jan Holgersson, did not sign the retraction notice. Both were based at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) at the time, but have since moved to the University of Gothenburg.

Now, the University of Gothenburg has launched its own investigation of the papers questioned on PubPeer, according to Read the rest of this entry »