Alfredo Fusco, facing misconduct charges in Italy, up to 21 retractions

Cancer Research

Alfredo Fusco, a researcher in Italy who has faced criminal charges for research misconduct for more than five years, has had six more papers retracted, for a total of 21.

The latest six retractions are all from Cancer Research. An example, for “Haploinsufficiency of the Hmga1 Gene Causes Cardiac Hypertrophy and Myelo-Lymphoproliferative Disorders in Mice,” a paper first published in 2006:

This article (1) has been retracted at the request of the editors. The editors were made aware of concerns regarding potential manipulation of data in the article. An internal review by the editors determined that multiple tubulin Western blot bands appear to be duplicated in Figs. 3A and 6D. The authors were not able to provide the original data to dispel these concerns.

A copy of this Retraction Notice was sent to the last known e-mail addresses for 15 of the 16 authors. Three authors (M. Fedele, S. Battista, and A. Fusco) did not agree to the retraction; two authors (A. Curcio and C. Indolfi) take no position; 10 authors (F. Pentimalli, A.J.P. Klein-Szanto, R. Visone, I. De Martino, C. Morisco, L. Del Vecchio, G. Baldassarre, C. Arra, G. Viglietto, and C.M. Croce) did not respond; the remaining author (V. Fidanza) could not be located.

The papers have been cited from 26 to 76 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.

In September, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which publishes Cancer Research, apologized for being “delayed in correcting the scientific record.” That apology, which came in an publisher’s note accompanying a number of retractions, continued:

It will take several months to publish various types of corrections related to a number of older cases on which we are working.

Researchers in Italy have been frustrated by the lack of progress in the investigation into Fusco’s work, Nature reported last year.

Fusco did not respond to a request for comment from Retraction Watch.

One of the six retracted papers includes Carlo Croce as an author. It is the ninth retraction for Croce, who was recently forced to step down as chair of his department at The Ohio State University following years of allegations of misconduct.

With the new retraction total, Fusco is now tied for 29th place on our leaderboard of authors with the most retractions in the world.

Like Retraction Watch? You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support our growth, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, sign up for an email every time there’s a new post (look for the “follow” button at the lower right part of your screen), or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that’s not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at team@retractionwatch.com.

16 thoughts on “Alfredo Fusco, facing misconduct charges in Italy, up to 21 retractions”

  1. Br J Cancer. 2005 Aug 22;93(4):464-71.
    UbcH10 overexpression may represent a marker of anaplastic thyroid carcinomas.
    Pallante P1, Berlingieri MT, Troncone G, Kruhoffer M, Orntoft TF, Viglietto G, Caleo A, Migliaccio I, Decaussin-Petrucci M, Santoro M, Palombini L, Fusco A.
    Author information
    1
    Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare c/o Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del CNR, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia di Napoli, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy.

    Figure 6A.

    See: https://imgur.com/IK7sa1D

  2. Oncogene. 2005 Oct 13;24(45):6809-19.
    HMGA1 protein expression sensitizes cells to cisplatin-induced cell death.
    Baldassarre G1, Belletti B, Battista S, Nicoloso MS, Pentimalli F, Fedele M, Croce CM, Fusco A.
    Author information
    1
    Kimmel Cancer Center, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

    Figure 1.

    See: https://imgur.com/gOwuk62

  3. Oncogene. 2004 Aug 12;23(36):6056-63.
    Disease associated mutations at valine 804 in the RET receptor tyrosine kinase confer resistance to selective kinase inhibitors.
    Carlomagno F1, Guida T, Anaganti S, Vecchio G, Fusco A, Ryan AJ, Billaud M, Santoro M.
    Author information
    1
    Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, University ‘Federico II’, c/o Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del CNR, via S. Pansini 5, Napoli, Italia.

    Figure 4b. See: https://imgur.com/Ze4qapI

  4. Mol Biol Cell. 2004 Mar;15(3):1224-32. Epub 2003 Dec 10.
    Phosphorylation of high-mobility group protein A2 by Nek2 kinase during the first meiotic division in mouse spermatocytes.
    Di Agostino S1, Fedele M, Chieffi P, Fusco A, Rossi P, Geremia R, Sette C.
    Author information

    1
    Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Biologia Cellulare, University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” 00133 Rome, Italy.

    Figure 2A.

    https://imgur.com/u7Q7j82

  5. When people win prizes it would be useful to screen their publications for problematic data.

    Eur J Endocrinol. 2006 Nov;155(5):645-53.
    RET/PTC activation in papillary thyroid carcinoma: European Journal of Endocrinology Prize Lecture.
    Santoro M1, Melillo RM, Fusco A.
    Author information
    1
    Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del CNR ‘G. Salvatore’, c/o Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, University ‘Federico II’, Via S. Pansini, 5, 80131 Naples, Italy.

  6. RET activation and clinicopathologic features in poorly differentiated thyroid tumors
    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2002) – 9 Comments
    pubmed: 11788678 doi: 10.1210/jcem.87.1.8174 issn: 0021-972X issn: 1945-7197
    Massimo Santoro author has email , Mauro Papotti , Gennaro Chiappetta , Ginesa Garcia-Rostan , Marco Volante , Chaline Johnson , Robert L. Camp , Francesca Pentimalli , Carmen Monaco , Agustin Herrero , Maria Luisa Carcangiu , Alfredo Fusco , Giovanni Tallini.
    Affiliations
    Centro di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, Università di Napoli Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy.

    See:-
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/BB727DB41872C9C231C1E25F9C24BD#2
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/BB727DB41872C9C231C1E25F9C24BD#8

  7. Problematic data two 2007 Alredo Fusco papers.
    1. Oncogene. 2007 Mar 29;26(14):2136-40. Epub 2006 Oct 2. and
    2. Eur J Cancer. 2007 Dec;43(18):2729-35. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

    See: https://imgur.com/Hv2kXNC

    Which is correct?
    One paper is about ovarian cancer, the other is about breast cancer. The samples will be different, yet a western blot is the same.
    It cannot represent two sets of samples.

    1. Oncogene. 2007 Mar 29;26(14):2136-40. Epub 2006 Oct 2.
    UbcH10 expression may be a useful tool in the prognosis of ovarian carcinomas.
    Berlingieri MT1, Pallante P, Guida M, Nappi C, Masciullo V, Scambia G, Ferraro A, Leone V, Sboner A, Barbareschi M, Ferro A, Troncone G, Fusco A.
    Author information
    1
    Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare c/o Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del CNR, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia di Napoli, Università degli Studi di Napoli ‘Federico II’, Naples, Italy.

    2. Eur J Cancer. 2007 Dec;43(18):2729-35. Epub 2007 Oct 22.
    UbcH10 is overexpressed in malignant breast carcinomas.
    Berlingieri MT1, Pallante P, Sboner A, Barbareschi M, Bianco M, Ferraro A, Mansueto G, Borbone E, Guerriero E, Troncone G, Fusco A.
    Author information
    1
    Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare c/o Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del CNR, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia di Napoli, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, via S.Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy.

  8. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2007 Sep;14(3):875-86.
    The Mia/Cd-rap gene expression is downregulated by the high-mobility group A proteins in mouse pituitary adenomas.
    De Martino I1, Visone R, Palmieri D, Cappabianca P, Chieffi P, Forzati F, Barbieri A, Kruhoffer M, Lombardi G, Fusco A, Fedele M.
    Author information
    1
    Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare and Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del CNR, University of Naples Federico II, via Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy.

    Figure 3C. https://pubpeer.com/publications/31233BFDC53C1FD565FED3EF8A8938#2

    Figure 4B.
    https://imgur.com/zAtvabk

  9. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2007 Jun;14(2):405-20.
    Overexpression of the S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 in thyroid cancer.
    Chiappetta G1, De Marco C, Quintiero A, Califano D, Gherardi S, Malanga D, Scrima M, Montero-Conde C, Cito L, Monaco M, Motti ML, Pasquinelli R, Agosti V, Robledo M, Fusco A, Viglietto G.
    Author information
    1
    Laboratorio Oncologia Sperimentale III, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, via M. Semmola, 80131 Napoli, Italy.

    Figure 4C.
    See: https://pubpeer.com/publications/7F222824CEABCD87E12008A00F6D19#7

  10. Oncogene. 2011 Jan 20;30(3):275-86. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.416. Epub 2010 Oct 18.
    1 comment on PubPeer (by: Peer 1)

    Upregulation of miR-21 by Ras in vivo and its role in tumor growth.
    Frezzetti D1, De Menna M, Zoppoli P, Guerra C, Ferraro A, Bello AM, De Luca P, Calabrese C, Fusco A, Ceccarelli M, Zollo M, Barbacid M, Di Lauro R, De Vita G.
    Author information
    1
    IRGS Biogem s.c.ar.l., Ariano Irpino, Italy.

    Figure 2b.
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/BA411EEF627BC59E36C5F8FCB458B1

  11. Oncogene. 2010 Jul 29;29(30):4341-51. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.179. Epub 2010 May 24. 3 comments on PubPeer (by: Peer 1)
    CCDC6 represses CREB1 activity by recruiting histone deacetylase 1 and protein phosphatase 1.
    Leone V1, Mansueto G, Pierantoni GM, Tornincasa M, Merolla F, Cerrato A, Santoro M, Grieco M, Scaloni A, Celetti A, Fusco A.
    Author information
    1
    Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del CNR c/o Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia di Napoli, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy.

    See:-
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/540B0911B18B968EAE22E862FA0819#2
    and
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/540B0911B18B968EAE22E862FA0819#3

  12. Problematic data two Alfredo Fusco papers:-
    1. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 May;97(5):E710-8. and
    2. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Apr;96(4):1029-38.

    See: https://imgur.com/4DAHprQ

    Which is correct?

    1. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 May;97(5):E710-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-3068. Epub 2012 Mar 7.
    Down-regulation of the miR-25 and miR-30d contributes to the development of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma targeting the polycomb protein EZH2.
    Esposito F1, Tornincasa M, Pallante P, Federico A, Borbone E, Pierantoni GM, Fusco A.
    Author information
    1
    Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia di Napoli, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy.

    2. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Apr;96(4):1029-38. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-1784. Epub 2011 Feb 2.
    Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 overexpression has a role in the development of anaplastic thyroid carcinomas.
    Borbone E1, Troncone G, Ferraro A, Jasencakova Z, Stojic L, Esposito F, Hornig N, Fusco A, Orlando V.
    Author information
    1
    Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Università di Napoli Federico II,80131 Naples, Italy.

  13. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2012 Apr 10;19(2):123-35. doi: 10.1530/ERC-11-0135. Print 2012 Apr.
    PIT1 upregulation by HMGA proteins has a role in pituitary tumorigenesis.
    Palmieri D1, Valentino T, De Martino I, Esposito F, Cappabianca P, Wierinckx A, Vitiello M, Lombardi G, Colao A, Trouillas J, Pierantoni GM, Fusco A, Fedele M.
    Author information
    1
    Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy.

    Figure 1B.
    See: https://imgur.com/3LCZbfc

    Figures 2B and 2C.
    See: https://pubpeer.com/publications/F5228951267114B6C1C46BA0E7F197#2

  14. Same data used to represent different experiments:-
    1. Br J Cancer. 2005 Aug 22;93(4):464-471.
    2. Eur J Cancer. 2007 Dec:43(18):2729-35. and
    3. Oncogene. 2007 Mar 29;26(14):2136-40.
    Br J Cancer. 2005 Aug 22;93(4):464-471 also has reuse of data within it after flipping to represent something else.

    See: https://imgur.com/1ftGTcW

  15. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/105072502760339325
    ThyroidVol. 12, No. 9 Laboratory Research ReportsFull Access
    Thymosin β-10 Protein Synthesis Suppression Reduces the Growth of Human Thyroid Carcinoma Cells in Semisolid Medium
    Giovanni Santelli Paola Cannada Bartoli Ada Giuliano Antonio Porcellini Alba Mineo Maria Vittoria Barone Immacolata Busiello Francesco Trapasso Daniela Califano Alfredo Fusco
    Published Online:9 Jul 2004https://doi.org/10.1089/105072502760339325

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/13F1BE30DA6A98F0B1576B73182909

    Figure 2D.
    https://imgur.com/6jTZJ7F

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.