A month after a journalism investigation that led to resignations and turmoil at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, researchers including a Sloan Kettering scientist have quietly corrected at least two papers to add disclosures of financial conflicts of interest.
We would like to correct the Conflict of Interest statement, which was “The authors declare no competing financial interest”, to “One or more US or international patent applications submitted by the authors relate to the radiolabeling, surface chemistry, characterization, and biomedical applications of the products. MSK, Cornell, and two investigators involved in this study have a financial interest in Elucida Oncology, Inc.”
The papers focus on the potential use of nanoparticles in targeted cancer treatment, which is also the focus of Elucida,
a biotechnology company focused on clinical research, development and subsequent commercialization of life-changing products…
The corrections appeared exactly a month after the New York Times and ProPublica reported that Sloan Kettering’s chief medical officer, Jose Baselga, had “failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from drug and health care companies in recent years, omitting his financial ties from dozens of research articles in prestigious publications like The New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet.” Baselga resigned shortly thereafter, and senior executives told staff that they needed “to do a better job” disclosing such conflicts of interest.
The American Chemical Society, which publishes Chemistry of Materials, tells Retraction Watch that the authors of the paper — who included Sloan Kettering’s Michelle Bradbury, along with researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca — requested the corrections after the Times-ProPublica investigation was published. However, Susan R. Morrissey, Ph.D., Director of External Affairs & Communications at the American Chemical Society, said that
The editorial staff was not aware of the NYT story prior to the decision to add the correction.
Bradbury, who is co-corresponding author of the papers along with Cornell’s Ulrich Wiesner, is on Elucida Oncology’s scientific advisory board, as is Wiesner. She did not respond to a request for comment about whether the story prompted the corrections.
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