Journal pulls cancer paper that used others’ data; authors MIA

A journal has retracted a paper after a reader pointed out some of the data looked familiar — and the authors never responded to the allegations.

According to the retraction notice in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, the reader showed the journal that the histological data in two of the figures were from another published paper by different researchers. But when the journal contacted the authors on several occasions, they didn’t hear back. 

Here’s the retraction notice:

Following the publication of this article, an interested reader drew to our attention that Figs. 3B and 4B contained histological data which had previously been published in Figs. 3B and 4B, respectively, of the following article: Wiggins JF, Ruffino L, Kelnar K, Omotola M, Patrawala L, Brown D and Bader AG: Development of a lung cancer therapeutic based on the tumor suppressor microRNA-34. Cancer Res. 15: 5923-5930, 2010. We have tried to contact the authors of the above paper on several occasions for comment, but without success; therefore, the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Molecular Medicine has taken the decision to retract this publication. We thank the reader for drawing this matter to our attention. [the original article was published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine 35: 1369-1373, 2015; DOI: 10.3892/ijmm.2015.2147]

Int J Mol Med 35: [Related article:] 1369–1373, 2015; DOI: 110.3892/ijmm.2015.2147

The 2015 paper, “Systemic delivery of synthetic microRNA-451 is an effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of lung cancer,” has been cited twice (once by its retraction notice), according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, formerly part of Thomson Reuters.  

We’ve reached out to first and corresponding author Baisong Lou, who is based at Τhe First Hospital of Qiqihaer City of Heilongjiang in China. Not surprisingly, given their lack of response to the editors, we haven’t heard back, but will update the post if we do.

Hat tip: Tansu Kucukoncu

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