A paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) in 2005 has been retracted because a corrected figure submitted for that paper was found to be previously published in two other papers.
Maimonides Institute for Biomedical Research and Reina Sofia Hospital in Córdoba, Spain. In 2012, the journal Haematologica retracted two of his papers and two more were retracted by the journal Blood, all because of inappropriately reproduced images. And just last month, the journal Oncogene retracted another of his articles for the same reason, according to Retraction Watch.
In the most recent instance, Román-Gómez and colleagues reported in their 2005 JCO paper that methylation profiles in cancer genes of patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) patients were correlated with clinical outcomes (1). These results suggested that such methylation profiles could be a useful biomarker to predict patient risk in T-ALL. Since publication, the study has been cited over 89 times, according to Google Scholar.
In September 2010, after being alerted that Figure 1 of Román-Gómez’ paper was published previously in a paper in Clinical Cancer Research that Román-Gómez was not an author on (2), JCO published an expression of concern for the paper (3). In response, Román-Gómez provided a corrected figure, which was published in the same issue that included the expression of concern (4).
But an investigation conducted by the Maimonides Institute for Biomedical Research and Reina Sofia Hospital found that image had already been published in two other papers: one in the Journal of Cancer Research and another in JCO itself (5-6). As a result, Román-Gómez’s co-authors alerted JCO to the duplicated figures and agreed to the retraction.
In the end, Román-Gómez has a total of 58 publications listed in PubMed, 6 of which have now been retracted. His most recent publication is dated 2011 (7), suggesting that he has moved on from his research career. Román-Gómez, his co-authors, his affiliated institutions, and the JCO editors were not available to comment on the retraction of the 2005 paper.
1.Roman-Gomez, J., A. Jimenez-Velasco, X. Agirre, F. Prosper, A. Heiniger, and A. Torres. 2005. Lack of CpG island methylator phenotype defines a clinical subtype of T-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia associated with good prognosis. Journal of Clinical Oncology 23(28):7043-7049.
2. Takahashi, T., N. Shivapurkar, E. Riquelme, H. Shigematsu, J. Reddy, M. Suzuki, K. Miyajima, X. Zhou, B. N. Bekele, A. F. Gazdar, and I. I. Wistuba. 2004. Aberrant promoter hypermethylation of multiple genes in gallbladder carcinoma and chronic cholecystitis. Clinical Cancer Research 10(18):6126-6133.
3. 2010. Expression of concern. Journal of Clinical Oncology 28(27):4281.
4. 2010. Author correction. Journal of Clinical Oncology 28(27):4280.
5. Agirre, X., A. Vilas-Zornoza, A. Jiménez-Velasco, J. I. Martin-Subero, L. Cordeu, L. Gárate, E. San José-Eneriz, G. Abizanda, P. Rodríguez-Otero, P. Fortes, J. Rifón, E. Bandrés, M. J. Calasanz, V. Martín, A. Heiniger, A. Torres, R. Siebert, J. Román-Gomez, and F. Prósper. 2009. Epigenetic silencing of the tumor suppressor MicroRNA Hsa-miR-124a regulates CDK6 expression and confers a poor prognosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cancer Research 69(10):4443-4453.
6. Roman-Gomez, J., X. Agirre, A. Jiménez-Velasco, V. Arqueros, A. Vilas-Zornoza, P. Rodriguez-Otero, I. Martin-Subero, L. Garate, L. Cordeu, E. San José-Eneriz, V. Martin, J. A. Castillejo, E. Bandrés, M. J. Calasanz, R. Siebert, A. Heiniger, A. Torres, and F. Prosper. 2009. Epigenetic regulation of MicroRNAs in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Journal of Clinical Oncology 27(8):1316-1322.
7. Rodriguez-Otero, P., J. Román-Gómez, A. Vilas-Zornoza, E. S. S. José-Eneriz, V. Martín-Palanco, J. Rifón, A. Torres, M. J. J. Calasanz, X. Agirre, and F. Prosper. 2011. Deregulation of FGFR1 and CDK6 oncogenic pathways in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia harbouring epigenetic modifications of the MIR9 family.British journal of haematology 155(1):73-83.