‘Hugely influential’ papers on cardiac stem cells declared ‘fraudulent’ by Harvard


An internal investigation by Harvard Medical School has determined that 31 scientific publications from the laboratory of a high-profile cardiologist contain fraudulent data.

Piero Anversa and his colleagues were credited with finding a population of cells in the heart that suggested the organ has the ability to regenerate. His work, underwritten by millions of dollars in federal funding, helped lay the groundwork for clinical trials, and cardiologists continue to study ways to repair the heart with stem cells.

But the cells Anversa described, so-called “c-kit” stem cells, don’t appear to work in the way he suggested, and subsequent research has raised doubt that they can regenerate heart tissue.

He and other members of his laboratory left the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2015 under the shadow of the ongoing internal investigation over the integrity of the work performed in his lab.


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“This body of work has, for better or worse, been hugely influential,” said Eduardo Marbán, director of the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “Despite the fact that several prominent laboratories failed to confirm key findings, c-kit positive heart cells were rapidly translated to clinical testing in heart failure patients. … One can only hope that no patients have been placed at risk in clinical trials based upon fraudulent data.”

Read full, original post: Harvard investigation finds fraudulent data in papers by heart researcher

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