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Independent Review Results in Cancer Research Retractions

09/21/2012
Jesse Jenkins

The International Journal of Oncology retracts two papers after it was found that the lead author’s interpretation of cancer research results was incorrect.


A Spandidos publication, the International Journal of Oncology, has retracted two papers from the same author describing biomarkers in cancer research (1-2). The retractions by the editorial staff at the journal were reflected September 18 through their website citing “interpretation of the results was not correct.”

Dr. Abraham Amsterdam was found by an international independent review and the International Journal of Oncology in Greece to have included inaccuracies in his cancer research conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science Department of Molecular Biology.

The first author on both papers, Dr. Abraham Amsterdam, was found by an international independent review and the International Journal of Oncology in Greece to have included inaccuracies in his cancer research conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science Department of Molecular Biology, based in Israel.

In a written statement to BioTechniques, Amsterdam explained a specific language inaccuracy inserted in his work that contributed to the decision by the journal to make the retractions.

“The article was retracted by the editor after he was informed by independent researchers that I used the term Villus instead of crypt throughout the article. I tried persuading the editor to publish an erratum instead, but he insisted on the retraction. I will try to publish this interesting paper somewhere else using the right term.”

Amsterdam did not comment on any other additional inaccuracies or incorrect interpretations in the retracted articles.

A Spandidos editorial staff member at the International Journal of Oncology replied by phone in response to the editorial board’s decision for the retractions.

“We, as editors, decided there would be a retraction after a long investigation. Though initially, the reviewers did not notice some statements that may not have been accurate so we decided to retract them. It can happen to every journal. It happened to International Journal of Oncology for the first time in 21 years.”

The journal editor also commented on Amsterdam’s other published articles in the International Journal of Oncology adding: “We reviewed all the papers, even those that can be reviewed. There was some disagreement with the reviews afterward, so that’s all. All the papers were reviewed.”

The Secretariat for Demetrios A. Spandidos at Spandidos also addressed the specifics of the investigation of the articles its circumstances in a written statement.

“We have no further comment on the retraction text, which is available publicly. In general, we do not discuss manuscripts on the telephone as we need a record of any instruction or information, also the time zones make this difficult.”

The papers’ other authors and representatives at the Weizmann Institute of Science did not reply to requests for comment on Amsterdam’s research with them.

References

1. Amsterdam, A., E. Shezen, C. Raanan, L. Schreiber, Y. Slilat, Y. Fabrikant, E. Melzer, R. Seger R. 2011. Two initiation sites of early detection of colon cancer, revealed by localization of pERK1/2 in the nuclei or in aggregates at the perinuclear region of tumor cells. Int J Oncol. 2012 Mar;40(3):782-8. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2011.1268. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

2. Amsterdam, A., C. Raanan, L. Schreiber, O. Freyhan, Y. Fabrikant, E. Melzer. 2012. Use of multiple biomarkers for the localization and characterization of colon cancer stem cells by indirect immunocytochemistry. Int J Oncol. 2012 Jul;41(1):285-91. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2012.1430. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Keywords:  retraction oncology