Lancet retracts stem cell paper

UK-based medical journal __The Lancet__ has linkurl:retracted;http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet a linkurl:paper;http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673607610149/abstract reporting on a clinical trial of a stem cell therapy for urinary incontinence, which has been mired in allegations of misconduct. In this week's issue of the journal, editors Sabine Kleinert and Richard Horton write that authors of an Austrian government inquiry "raise doubts as to whether a trial a

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Sep 4, 2008
UK-based medical journal __The Lancet__ has linkurl:retracted;http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet a linkurl:paper;http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673607610149/abstract reporting on a clinical trial of a stem cell therapy for urinary incontinence, which has been mired in allegations of misconduct. In this week's issue of the journal, editors Sabine Kleinert and Richard Horton write that authors of an Austrian government inquiry "raise doubts as to whether a trial as described in __The Lancet__ ever existed." They also outline a slew of linkurl:ethical problems;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54932/ uncovered during the investigation of the trial, such as irregularities with patient consent forms and the fact that the study did not attain the proper ethics approval. "In our view, the conclusions of this official investigation pinpoint so many irregularities in the conduct of their work that, taken together, the paper should be retracted from the published record," they conclude. The rector of the Medical University of Innsbruck, where the trial took place, first raised concerns about...
ls/lancet/article/PIIS0140673607610149/abstract reporting on a clinical trial of a stem cell therapy for urinary incontinence, which has been mired in allegations of misconduct. In this week's issue of the journal, editors Sabine Kleinert and Richard Horton write that authors of an Austrian government inquiry "raise doubts as to whether a trial as described in __The Lancet__ ever existed." They also outline a slew of linkurl:ethical problems;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54932/ uncovered during the investigation of the trial, such as irregularities with patient consent forms and the fact that the study did not attain the proper ethics approval. "In our view, the conclusions of this official investigation pinpoint so many irregularities in the conduct of their work that, taken together, the paper should be retracted from the published record," they conclude. The rector of the Medical University of Innsbruck, where the trial took place, first raised concerns about it last year, and was recently linkurl:dismissed;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54978/ from his post because of the controversy. An editorial appearing alongside the retraction points out that, as problems with the trial began surfacing, several of the Austrian paper's authors "sought to distance themselves from the paper." These included linkurl:Georg Bartsch,;http://www.uro-innsbruck.at/vorwort/englisch/index_en.htm head author on the paper and head of the urology department at the university, who previously told __Nature__ that he was included as senior author "in honor of my seniority." The editorial goes on to comment on the pervasiveness of such honorary author flight when misconduct charges are levied against published papers. "Clearly, journals asking for maximum transparency and requiring signed statements on contributions is not always enough to ensure that coauthors take responsibility for a study's integrity as well as basking in the glory of a high-profile publication with all its associated credit," the editorial states, referring to __The Lancet__'s own contributorship policy. "Using gift authorship as an excuse for not taking responsibility for research when serious flaws are uncovered?should not be tolerated. With credit comes responsibility - always."

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