We are watching an intriguing case out of the Netherlands, involving a young researcher whose dubious results have led to the retraction of a pair of papers.
The retracted articles, which appeared in 2008 in Cancer Research and the British Journal of Cancer, come from the lab of the prominent Dutch scientist Ed Roos, of the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. Both papers addressed the actions of certain chemokine receptors — molecules on cell surfaces that interact with blood proteins involved in the immune response — on the behavior of tumor cells.
The first author on each paper was Joost Meijer, at the time a graduate student in Roos’ shop.
The retraction notices contain essentially the same information, although in the case of the BJC article — “Effect of the chemokine receptor CXCR7 on proliferation of carcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo” — the letter is quite personal. Dated Jan. 4, 2011, it reads: Continue reading Inability to reproduce Dutch grad student’s data prompts two retractions from the cancer lit
Last month, we wrote about the retraction of a 2005 paper suggesting that some adult stem cells might give rise to cancer. That, of course, would be a problem if researchers tried treating heart disease and other conditions with them. The paper’s authors retracted it, however, when it became clear that instead of being transformed — that’s the scientific word for “became cancerous” — the cells had simply become contaminated and overgrown with tumor cells used in research.
We had some questions for the authors of the original paper, and for the editor of the journal. Last week, we heard back from one of the paper’s authors, Javier Garcia-Castro, who had been on vacation without Internet access for weeks. In an email to Retraction Watch, Garcia-Castro wrote: Continue reading Update on stem cell-cancer link retraction: Why not everyone signed, and why authors ended up in another journal first
The authors of a 2005 Cancer Research paper that cast some doubt on the safety of a population of adult stem cells used frequently in research have retracted it. According to the retraction, in the August 15 issue of the journal:
Upon review of the data published in this article, the authors have been unable to reproduce some of the reported spontaneous transformation events and suspect the phenomenon is due to a cross-contamination artifact.
Transformation refers to changes in the cells that make them “immortal” — think HeLa cells, made popular by Rebecca Skloot’s book about Henrietta Lacks — and cancer-like. Continue reading It’s not a tumor: Authors retract 2005 Cancer Research paper linking adult stem cells to cancer