TALENT EDUCATION

A research paper at Sun Yat-sen University was retracted: basic data and ethical approvals did not match the paper


Due to the mismatch between the basic data and the ethical review approval documents and the data in the paper, a research paper signed as corresponding authors by the project leader (PI) of the South China Key Laboratory of Oncology-Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, Xie Dan, deputy director of the Department of Pathology, director of the Laboratory of Tumor Molecular Markers and Diagnosis and Treatment, and Sui Peng, a gastroenterologist at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, were withdrawn.

Papers withdrawn on March 6, 2023.

On March 6, the international academic journal Oncogene published a retraction statement online, saying that after the publication of the paper, some of its data were questioned by readers. Subsequently, the authors of the paper issued corrections. However, new doubts arose, and the authors were therefore required to provide basic data and ethical review approval documents. Due to the mismatch between the basic data provided by the authors and the relevant ethical review approval documents and the data in the paper, the journal editor-in-chief is no longer confident in the findings and conclusions of the paper. All authors agreed to withdraw the paper.

The paper in question, titled “LINC01410-miR-532-NCF2-NF-kB feedback loop promotes gastric cancer angiogenesis and metastasis” (LINC01410-miR-532-NCF2-NF-kB feedback loop promotes gastric cancer angiogenesis and metastasis), was published online on February 27, 2018.

The corresponding authors of the paper are Xie Dan and Sui Peng.

Among them, Xie Dan’s signature units are the State Key Laboratory of Oncology of South China, the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Center of Sun Yat-sen University and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Oncology Medicine. Sui Peng’s signature units are the Department of Oncology, Department of Gastroenterology and Department of Hepatology of the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University.

The retraction follows a June 28, 2021, correction to the paper’s statement that multiple images in the paper were changed and an author was removed from the byline list. The authors assert that the errors are the result of accidental misuse and do not affect the results and conclusions.

The paper pointed out that dysregulation of non-coding RNAs, including miRNAs and lncRNAs, plays a crucial role in the carcinogenic process of gastric cancer (GC), but its mechanism of action is largely unclear. The study explored the effects of LINC01410 on miR-532-5p-mediated gastric cancer and the underlying mechanisms using the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset and bioinformatics analysis, as well as a series of in vivo and in vitro experiments. The study found that the overexpression of LINC01410 promoted angiogenesis and metastasis of gastric cancer through binding and inhibition of miR-532-5p, resulting in upregulation of NCF2 and sustained activation of NF-κB pathway. NFC2 in turn increases the promoter activity and expression of LINC01410 through NF-κB, thus forming a feedback loop of LINC1410-miR-532-5p-NCF2-NF-κB. The study suggests that this will be a potential therapeutic target in GC treatment.

However, 5 years after publication, the paper was retracted.

Due to the mismatch between the basic data provided by the authors and the relevant ethical review approval documents and the data in the paper, the journal editor-in-chief is no longer confident in the findings and conclusions of the paper. All authors agreed to withdraw the paper.

According to the official website of the State Key Laboratory of Oncology of South China, Xie Dan, one of the corresponding authors of the above paper, is engaged in the research of molecular oncology and tumor pathology, and serves as the project leader (PI) of the “State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China” of Sun Yat-sen University-Cancer Prevention and Control Center, and has presided over a number of national and provincial scientific research projects. Xie Dan was selected as the “New Century Excellent Talent Support Program” of the Ministry of Education in 2008, the “Thousand and Ten Talents Training Object” of Guangdong Province in 2010, the “Chinese Cancer Rising Star” of the Chinese Medical Association in 2011, the “National Outstanding Youth Fund” in 2012, the “Pearl River Scholar Distinguished Professor” of Guangdong Province in 2013, the “Young and Middle-aged Leading Talents” of the Talent Promotion Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2014, and the “Young and Middle-aged Leading Talents” of the National 10,000 Talents Program in 2016. He is currently the vice chairman of Guangdong Anti-Cancer Association-Cancer Metastasis Society.

The State Key Laboratory of Oncology of South China is located in the medical research building of the Cancer Center of Sun Yat-sen University, which is established on the basis of the Key Laboratory of Tumor-related Genes and Anti-tumor Drugs of the Ministry of Education of the Cancer Prevention and Control Center of Sun Yat-sen University, and was approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology in March 2005 and accepted by the Ministry of Science and Technology in November 2008.

Founded in March 1964, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center (Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Hospital and Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Institute) is one of the earliest four cancer hospitals established in New China, and is a national key discipline (oncology), a state key laboratory (South China State Key Laboratory of Oncology), a key laboratory of the Ministry of Education, a national clinical trial research center for new drugs (anti-tumor drugs), and a collaborative innovation center jointly established by the Ministry of Oncology. It is the supporting unit of Guangdong Cancer Center and Guangdong Institute of Esophageal Cancer.
 
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