School sued for fake cancer test

A biotechnology company is suing the University of Pittsburgh over a test for prostate cancer, linkurl:the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported last week.;http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_641304.html The lawsuit claims the test is "no more accurate in distinguishing cancerous tissue from normal tissue than flipping a coin," according to the newspaper. After researcher Robert Getzenberg said he had identified a new biomarker for prostate cancer in 2001, the University of Pitt

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Sep 7, 2009
A biotechnology company is suing the University of Pittsburgh over a test for prostate cancer, linkurl:the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported last week.;http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_641304.html The lawsuit claims the test is "no more accurate in distinguishing cancerous tissue from normal tissue than flipping a coin," according to the newspaper. After researcher Robert Getzenberg said he had identified a new biomarker for prostate cancer in 2001, the University of Pittsburgh patented the marker and investors spent millions to found a company called linkurl:Onconome;http://www.onconome.com/ to develop and market it. Six years later, Redmond, Wash.-based Onconome discovered that the entire claim was based on "imaginary" and manipulated results, the lawsuit claimed -- during that time, Getzenberg had been leaving out the data that "was inconsistent with his claims." Onconome is suing the university for failing to properly supervise Getzenberg's research, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The university told the newspaper it doesn't comment on pending litigation,...
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