26 Papers by Renowned Cancer Surgeon Flagged for Iffy Data

'New York Times' details the allegations against a renowned researcher
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2024 9:52 AM CST
26 Papers by Renowned Cancer Surgeon Flagged for Iffy Data
   (Getty / stockdevil)

The New York Times is out with a story suggesting that medical journals provide nowhere near the kind of scrutiny necessary for papers on cancer research. The newspaper reports that a top cancer surgeon at Columbia University is under scrutiny after 26 of Dr. Sam Yoon's published studies were flagged for suspicious data, including images of cancer cells, mice, and tumors that appear to have been repurposed for different studies. One published study on stomach cancer was "quietly" withdrawn after doubts surfaced, and another medical journal recently retracted a Yoon study after inquiries from the newspaper. Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City, where much of the research was conducted, has opened an investigation.

The initial suspicions on Yoon's papers were raised by a "British scientific sleuth" named Dr. Sholto David in a blog post and science forum, per the Times. Yoon is not commenting, nor is a junior collaborator. The story details the studies in question by Yoon but also raises broader concerns about the review process for research publications. "The journals do the bare minimum," microbiologist Elisabeth Bik tells the Times. "There's no oversight." Read the full story, which notes that sleuths are using AI-powered tools in their quest to uncover other questionable research. (A Harvard professor is also in trouble over alleged falsified data.)

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