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Fifth Potti paper retracted

The retractions continue for embattled former Duke cancer researcher Dr. Anil Potti.

A medical journal—Blood—published a retraction notice Friday for the paper “Gene-expression patterns predict phenotypes of immune-mediated thrombosis.” Potti served as lead author on the paper, which was originally published in February 2006. This marks Potti’s fifth retraction since issues surfaced regarding falsified portions of his resume, leading to his resignation from Duke’s Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and the School of Medicine.

In the retraction letter, the authors acknowledge that they have been unable to reproduce key findings from the research conducted independently by Potti “regarding validation of predictive models for thrombotic phenotypes.” The studies were conducted with 129 patients, according to the paper. The authors added further doubts about Potti’s methodology.

“It has also been recognized that multiple samples appear to be duplicated in the training and validation datasets pertaining to the analysis presented in Figure 2 of the paper, which was also performed by Anil Potti,” they wrote in the notice.

The blog Retraction Watch reported that this paper had been cited 24 times since publication, raising concerns about the breadth of research undermined by the flaws in Potti’s research. The effects of the Potti scandal have been rippling through the genetic cancer research community since The Cancer Letter revealed last summer that Potti had falsely claimed a Rhodes Scholarship and other awards on his resume. The University launched investigations that identified corruption of datasets in Potti’s research and credentials. He resigned Nov. 19 and accepted responsibility for the faults in his research.

As of June, Potti was practicing oncology in South Carolina.

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