Altman, Lawrence K. "University Is Ordered to Consider Inquiry Into Cancer Studies," New

 

Altman, Lawrence K. "University Is Ordered to Consider Inquiry Into Cancer Studies," New
York Times, 30 April 1994, p. 11.

"Federal health officials said yesterday that they had ordered the University of Pittsburgh to
determine whether a formal inquiry should be made into possible misconduct by two scientists
had led the flawed breast cancer studies that changed the way the disease is treated.

"Federal officials said an inquiry was needed because the two scientists, Dr. Bernard Fisher and
Dr. Carol Redmond, had published a number of articles in medical journals after learning that
data submitted to the study had been falsified by a Canadian researchers, and because they ad not
disclosed the facts to co- authors and editors of the journals.

"‘The submission of publication of data known to be false may constitute scientific misconduct
as defined by the Public Health Service,' the Office of Research Integrity, the health service's
investigative unit, said in a statement."

Other discrepancies have been noted in the breast cancer investigations: 1) at South Nassau
Communities Hospital in Oceanside, L.I. and 2) Brotman Medical Center in Los Angeles. It
would appear that errors were detected by the Pittsburgh auditors in 1990 by were never reported
to the sponsoring federal agency.

Officials on site at the centers to be audited explain that the deficiencies were "human error"
involving such things as timing and obtaining consent signatures from patients.

It is reported here that the University of Pittsburgh has submitted a corrective plan to the National
Cancer Institute and intends to appoint Dr. Bernard Fisher as the scientific head of the team.

"Several weeks ago officials of the National Cancer Institute said they had ordered Dr. Fisher to
write to journal editors and his collaborators to notify them of the data irregularities."