Dana-Farber retracts 7th study after investigation

Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has retracted an additional study in the midst of an investigation into research that may include manipulated or duplicated images, NBC News reported April 9.

In January, the institute notified research journals that it desires to retract six studies and correct 31 papers — including those co-written by top executives — as part of an ongoing probe. The institute found errors in 37 studies, which led to corrections in 31 and six studies retracted.

The scientist blogger who brought the errors to light told NBC News he discovered an additional 30 studies from authors affiliated with the institute that he believes contain errors or image manipulation.

Dana-Farber said it had begun an investigation before the Wales-based scientist wrote his report and is continuing to make corrections.

"Dana-Farber is deeply committed to a culture of accountability and integrity, and as an academic research and clinical care organization we also prioritize transparency," Barrett Rollins, MD, PhD, the institute's integrity research officer, told NBC News. "However, we are bound by federal regulations that apply to all academic medical centers funded by the National Institutes of Health among other federal agencies. Therefore, we cannot share details of internal review processes and will not comment on personnel issues."

Six of the seven retracted studies had Kenneth Anderson, MD, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston and director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at Dana-Farber, as a senior author. He declined NBC News' request for comment, but retraction notices indicate he agreed to the retractions of papers he wrote.

The retracted studies were published in the Journal of Immunology and in Cancer Research. Six of the studies focused on multiple myeloma.

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