Top Cancer Center Seeks to Retract or Correct Dozens of Studies

A prominent cancer center affiliated with Harvard said it will ask medical journals to retract six research papers and correct dozens of others after a British scientist and blogger found that work by some of its top executives was rife with duplicated or manipulated data.

The center, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, one of the nation’s foremost cancer treatment and research facilities, moved quickly in recent days to address allegations of faulty data in 58 studies, many of them influential, compiled by a British molecular biologist, Sholto David.

In many cases, Dr. David found, images in the papers had been stretched, obscured or spliced together in a way that suggested deliberate attempts to mislead readers. The studies he flagged included some published by Dana-Farber’s chief executive, Dr. Laurie Glimcher, and its chief operating officer, Dr. William Hahn.

The retractions come as researchers in the United States face growing pressure to account for instances of scientific misconduct, sloppy work or outright fraud. Image sleuths have recently found evidence of fabricated data in scores of influential papers on Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, Marc Tessier-Lavigne resigned as president of Stanford University after some of his published papers were found to contain manipulated results.

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