Paper on rare pediatric lung cancer retracted for misstatements, unknowing authors

logo-journalecancermedicalscience (officially in the running for the most cumbersome journal title we’ve run across) has retracted a 2013 case report for a litany of sins.

The article, “Primary extraosseous Ewing sarcoma of the lung in children,” came from a group in France: Nidal Alsit, Clara Fernandez, Jean Luc Michel , Linda Sakhri, Audrey Derouet and Augustin Pirvu.

Or at least that’s what the author information suggested.

It described the case of:

A four-year-old girl, without any medical history, was referred to our department for a lung mass (Figure 1). An initial thoracic computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a large cystic tumour in the middle of the left lung (Figure 2). The diagnosis of intrathoracic EES was made by punction under CT control. The patient was subsequently treated with six chemotherapy courses (vincristin, ifosfamid, doxorubicin, and etoposide).

Turns out, that wasn’t quite right. As the retraction notice states:

The report in this article of the treatment the patient received is incorrect. Three of the authors (Jean Luc Michel, Clara Fernandez and Audrey Derouet) were unaware that their names had been added to the author list. The three remaining authors (Nidal Alsit, Linda Sakhri and Augustin Pirvu) were not involved with the treatment of the patient.

We’ll leave it for our readers who love GRE logic to figure out who the corresponding author was.

Okay, it was Pirvu. But since Pirvu wasn’t involved in the treatment of the patient (nor were Alsit and Sakhri), the report was hearsay.

Which brings us to the more substantive question about this article, or at least the retraction notice, which seems to suggest that the care report incorrectly described the treatment regimen the girl received. A little more clarity here would have been ideal.

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