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Biochemical Pharmacology has retracted seven studies authored by former MD Anderson Cancer Center researcher Bharat Aggarwal, Retraction Watch reports. Aggarwal, it adds, had been under investigation by MD Anderson for some time.

The journal retracted the articles, citing questionable data integrity. Ivan Oransky at Retraction Watch notes that the articles have been cited more than 500 times and one was deemed to be a "highly cited" paper by Thomson Reuters.

In particular, a number of images appearing in the papers seemed to have been manipulated. For instance, the retraction notice for the 2011 paper "Triptolide, histone acetyltransferase inhibitor, suppresses growth and chemosensitizes leukemic cells through inhibition of gene expression regulated by TNF-TNFR1-TRADD-TRAF2-NIK-TAK1-IKK pathway" says that one image was reused.

"Fig. 4F, labeled Triptolide plus TNF in wild type mouse embryonic fibroblasts (Trp + TNF/MEF WT) was reused to represent TNF alone in knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts (TNF/MEF p65−/−)," the note says. "The image has been manipulated in contrast, brightness, and size to represent the different experimental conditions."

Retraction Watch previously reported on a number of expressions of concern and corrections regarding Aggarwal's work. MD Anderson tells Oransky that Aggarwal retired at the end of 2015 and that it is "committed to the highest standards of scientific integrity."

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