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Concerns Issued

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has issued two expressions of concern regarding papers published by Ohio State University's Carlo Croce, Retraction Watch reports.

As the New York Times recently reported, Croce, a prominent cancer researcher, has been facing allegations of research misconduct for years, though investigations by OSU have not had any formal findings. Indeed, Retraction Watch notes that Croce received an award Sunday from the American Association for Cancer Research that honored his work in the field.

But yesterday, PNAS issued EOCs regarding two papers on which Croce was senior author. According to the statements, the journal found that figures in both papers, one on a possible role of parkin as a tumor suppressor and the other on WWOX in lung cancer, appeared to include duplicated bands. The authors told the journal that because seven years and 10 years had passed, respectively, since the papers had been published, they did not have the original data to determine if an error was made in making the figure.

PNAS executive editor Diane Sullenberger tells Retraction Watch that the journal decided on EOCs — and not retractions or corrections — because the authors didn't agree that the bands had been duplicated.

Retraction Watch adds that Croce withdrew a 2012 Journal of Biological Chemistry paper last month, also because of figure issues.