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Anil Potti: An Update on the Notorious Clinical Research Fraudster


Some time ago I posted about a man named Anil Potti who was, for a while, riding high in the medical research community on the basis of a fraudulent method for predicting which cancer patients would respond to which particular medications.
It has come to light that, in 2008, a third year medical student who was working for Potti wrote a letter to his supervisors detailing his concerns about the fraudulent treatment methods that Potti was inflicting on some 100 patients with advanced cancers. This letter was dropped in a bottom drawer and ignored until further complaints were made by others with more advanced standing in the research community. The medical student chose to repeat his entire third year of school in order to get a better research experience in a different lab.
The feces has finally encountered the fan, and Potti is going to be a defendant along with his mentor and his institution, Duke University in a civil trial which begins next Monday. Retraction Watch, a fascinating blog, has detailed 11 retractions of papers by Potti along with other expressions of concern. The Cancer Letter has a long and detailed summary of the events surrounding Potti’s frauds, which went unpunished from 2007 until last year, despite the exposure via the medical student’s letter of Potti’s essential misdeeds in 2008.
The article in The Cancer Letter lays bare the behavior of Duke University professors and deans, who chose to ignore the early warnings and now are subject to civil penalties in a suit brought by cancer patients who were misled by claims that they were receiving the latest in tailored therapies.
Read the article in The Cancer Letter here: and here: as well as the Retraction Watch summary of his retractions here:

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