Mega-correction to several images in gastric cancer study


A journal has issued a rather large correction — what we call “mega-correction” — to a 2014 paper on a gastric cancer biomarker that fixes problems with several of the study’s figures.

The authors write that despite the corrections, “the results and conclusions put forth in the article remain unchanged.”

The paper, “TMEFF2 Deregulation Contributes to Gastric Carcinogenesis and Indicates Poor Survival Outcome” explored the role of TMEFF2 in gastric cancer. The researchers found that the protein acts as a tumor suppressor, and low levels can indicate the presence of cancerous cells.

Here’s the full correction notice, published by Clinical Cancer Research in August:

In this article (Clin Cancer Res 2014;20:4689–704), which was published in the September 1, 2014, issue of Clinical Cancer Research (1), the authors provided incorrect versions of Figs. 5A, 5B, 6C, and 6E in the main text and Supplementary Figs. S1 to S6, which were published with the issue. The corrected main text figures are below; the corrected supplementary figures are posted online. In addition, a callout in the final paragraph of the article that reads “Supplementary Fig. S6G” should read “Fig. 6G.” The results and conclusions put forth in the article remain unchanged. The authors regret this error.

It was authored by a total of 17 researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the University of Michigan, and Brown University.

A commenter on PubPeer pointed out issues with one of the images in April. In response, another commenter said the journal had made a mistake in the paper, and posted a correct version of the image, suggesting it was one of the authors.

We’ve reached out to the last three authors Jie Hong, Haoyan Chen and Jing-Yuan Fang in Shanghai to ask if one of them posted the PubPeer comment, and for more information about the correction. We’ve also reached out to the journal’s editor-in-chief Kenneth Anderson. We’ll update the story if they respond.

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