The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Lancet's role in Macchiarini scandal

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Asa, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Asa

    Asa Senior Member

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    Karolinska University Hospital is Sweden's most prestigious medical school and the institution soley responsible for selection of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

    To my understanding, former Karolinska surgeon Paolo Macchiarini continues to be under investigation for offenses which include scientific misconduct.

    "Allegations were also made that patients' medical conditions both before and after the operations, as reported in academic papers, did not match reality..."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paolo_Macchiarini#Allegations_of_research_misconduct


    A 20-minute Swedish (national) Radio report (in English) can be heard here: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=406&artikel=6362384


    A ca 4-minute Swedish Radio report (in Swedish / google-translate English) can be heard/read at the links below. This report highlights the Lancet's silence regarding the Macchiarini publishing scandal and suggests that this silence can negatively affect the Lancet's reputation as a quality journal. (Perhaps someone with trust-worthy Swedish could offer better information? : )) http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=406&artikel=6362083

    and google-translate text: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=406&artikel=6362083&edit-text=&act=url

    Please note that Ulrika Björkstén, "Head of the Science Deptartment at Swedish Radio", says that she's tried to contact the head editor of the Lancet regarding this matter but has only received short answers of "no comment" from the Lancet's media/press department.


    P.S. I didn't find Macchiarini's name on the Lancet wiki page, which includes other Lancet scandals. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lancet


    If anyone is in touch with Tuller and/or Coyne, please share this info if you believe it may be of further use.


    Björkstén Twitter: https://twitter.com/ulrikabjorksten and Swedish Radio (public) contact info: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=406&artikel=4034745

    Maybe Björkstén would like to investigate the devestating effects of the Lancet's PACE publication on Swedish healthcare services, insurance, patients, families, physician and societal attitudes, etc.?! See Swedish state document: Fokusrapport Kroniskt Trötthetssyndrom (2009). (Compare it to how White -- who was consulted for the document -- yet with no conflict-of-interest claims (to my understanding) advises private insurance.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
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  2. Asa

    Asa Senior Member

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    Published 19 Feb 2016: (Something to the effect of....)

    Journals' Peer Review Fails to Find Errors (Ulrika Björkstén, Head of the Science Deptartment at Swedish Radio)

    Amid the Karolinska Institute scandal and discussion of the Lancet's failure to fact check Macchiarini's research, another more common type of mistake has been identified this week in Science, another leading scientific journal...

    So the results were incorrect, due to a miscalculation. This time, the mistake was discovered because researchers within the same field suspected a mistake/were suspicious, did a calculation [performed their own calculation], and a correction was published in Science.

    When science goes wrong, it doesn't automatically mean that cheating [fraud?] was involved. Peer review though by other qualified scientists is always a neccessary condition/requirement for scientific findings to be validated.

    A research group and a research article are far from enough. A great deal of expertise is often required to find the weak link in others' research.

    So, what's the take-home message from all of this? That the review process in leading scientific journals often fails to discover mistakes and fraud; and we must listen to researchers who suspect errors in others' research, regardless if such errors are the result of fraud, bad luck, or carelessness.

    The review process is not a formality. It is the foundation of the scientific method.

    [END]

    Original: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=406&artikel=6372355

    Google translate: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=406&artikel=6372355&edit-text=&act=url


    QUESTIONS/THOUGHTS:

    Does anyone know if Sweden's ME Association and/or other interested parties have contacted Björkstén about PACE, its problems, its influence on Swedish healthcare and courts? As of 2015 (at least and even after the IOM report, etc.), the highest level of Swedish courts has rubber-stamped UK-style CBT/GET.

    Would the Swedish Skeptics Association (or other Scandinavian sister organization?) be of help in this matter? http://www.vof.se/about/

    "To define science and pseudoscience is not all that easy. VoF uses the following definition: Science is the systematic search for such knowledge that is independent from any single individual, but that anyone could rediscover or verify. Pseudoscience is statements not based in science but presented in such a way that gives them the impression of being so."

    How can Björkstén and/or VoF turn a blind eye to PACE??

    (@mango, @matsli, @Jonas, @Pactallon, @deleder2k, @itsmewithme)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
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  3. mango

    mango Senior Member

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    thank you so much for tagging me :) i had somehow missed this very interesting thread.

    i'll ask RME (Sweden's ME Association), and try to find out more.

    no, the VOF are absolutely not our friends... see posts about mats reimer in other threads here on PR.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
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  4. Asa

    Asa Senior Member

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    "VoF publishes a quarterly magazine, Folkvett, and have many meetings (lectures and social meetings) per year. Each year we give two awards: Enlightener of the Year and Obscurantist of the Year (see example here). We also have local chapters in several cities."

    He could be nominated for an Obscurantist of the Year award. :D:(
     
  5. mango

    mango Senior Member

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    re: Fokusrapport Kroniskt Trötthetssyndrom (2009). "Focus report Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"

    in 2011 the county commissioner(?) Stig Nyman attested that the report needs to be reviewed and revised, and that a new focus report will be developed. See "Svar på interpellation 2011:35, Stig Nyman".

    more info in Swedish here: http://rme.nu/kontakt-med-landstinget

    RME (Sweden's ME Association)'s comments on the report (2009): http://www.rme.nu/sites/rme.nu/files/KommFokusKTS.pdf

    also, there are judicial decisions (is that the right word in english? "domslut"?) from at least one of the administrative courts (Förvaltningsrätten) where the focus report was questioned and judged to have no relevance for the court's ruling.

    there are currently no national guidelines for me/cfs in sweden, and i haven't heard anything more about a new focus report since Nyman's comment in 2011 (however, i'm not part of the RME workgroup, so it's possible that they would know more?).

    as i'm sure you all understand, although RME is actively doing their very best on all levels and in all ways possible, i would say that we are all quietly hoping that the political process will be delayed until biomedical research and the biomedical approach has won more ground and acceptance. needless to say, this is a hugely delicate situation at the moment, for obvious reasons.

    yes, sadly there's a lot of very strong support for the BPS approach among GPs, politicians etc all over the country... :( some of the specialist clinics have really strong BPS influences too... :( there are some really strong lobbyists as well, reimer being one of the loudest and most... ehrm... opinionated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
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  6. mango

    mango Senior Member

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    i've now emailed one of our swedish PACE experts, asking for his thoughts on this.
     
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  7. Asa

    Asa Senior Member

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    Just leaving the following link as a "bread crumb" to note further discussion of the Lancet and Richard Horton, in broadcast section beginning at 15.40. (Swedish language.) http://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/677855?programid=415

    Additionally, at 5.50: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/674929?programid=415

    -----------

    And factoids: Horton "is an honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London, and the University of Oslo... In 2011, he was elected a Foreign Associate of the US Institute of Medicine. Richard Horton was born in London and is half Norwegian... He qualified in physiology and medicine from the University of Birmingham in 1986 and received honorary doctorates in medicine from the University of Birmingham, UK, and the University of Umea, Sweden..."

    And he's also part of WHO? http://www.who.int/woman_child_accountability/ierg/members/en/

    And considered part of a group committed to women's health?! http://www.who.int/woman_child_accountability/en/
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
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  8. Asa

    Asa Senior Member

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    In reference to the audio links in post #7 - for what it's worth - and to the best of my (current) ability...

    It seems that the Lancet is being repeatedly criticized for not noting the controversy/investigation of Macchiarini's research -- including, and of primary, primary significance -- that several (how many?) of Macchiarini's patients actually died, as a result of his procedures.

    The Lancet, however, is letting the research stand -- as is -- without noting in any way these "adverse consequences", so that anyone who reads Macchiarini's research as published in the Lancet might believe that Macchiarini's methods had been successful.

    This is misleading, and it also brings into question the influence of research on public policy.

    For some time, Lancet editor Horton did not answer questions from Swedish media. But he eventually replied saying something like the Lancet can't retract everything that scientists have questions about because scientists always have questions and this -- asking of questions -- is the very nature of science and scientists. And if the Lancet retracted everything that was questioned, then there would be no scientific literature.

    An additional point was that one (or more?) Macchiarini co-authors have requested that their name(s) be removed from Macchiarini's work, and (to my understanding) some four months or more have passed, and the Lancet has ignored these co-authors and media questions regarding this matter with the co-authors.

    Please forgive any mistakes -- and please share any needed corrections.
     
  9. Ecoclimber

    Ecoclimber Senior Member

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    Prominent surgeon Paolo Macchiarini cut down by controversy
    Macchiarini’s work — including surgery on an ailing Korean-Canadian toddler — was hailed as groundbreaking before fraud allegations and a tale of strange romance.

    ...In recent weeks, the Italian doctor has been swallowed by controversy. Media reports have reignited accusations of research fraud and introduced new allegations that he failed to explain the risks of his signature trachea surgery, in which he implants a plastic windpipe combined with tissue from a patient’s own stem cells...

    A Swedish TV documentary reported in January that most of Macchiarini’s patients died after undergoing this surgery, including a woman in Russia who was not seriously ill before the procedure.

    Meanwhile, two Swedish medical figures from the prestigious Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm have resigned over the handling of an investigation into falsified research that cleared Macchiarini of scientific misconduct last fall. The doctor’s research lab at the institute is being shut down, and Macchiarini will not work there past the end of his current contract in November. An inquiry into his research and practices has also been reopened.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)00341-X/fulltext?rss=yes
    Offline: Paolo Macchiarini—science in conflict

    The resignation of Anders Hamsten as Vice-Chancellor of the Karolinska Institute has accelerated a growing sense of emergency within the Swedish biomedical science community. His departure comes during the same week that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences issued an unprecedented statement accusing Paolo Macchiarini of “ethically indefensible working methods”. The Academy is the body that awards annual Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Economics (the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded by the Karolinska Institute, hence the likely acute embarrassment at the tarnished reputation of one of the world's most respected scientific centres). The Academy concludes that there is a “crisis of confidence in Swedish medical research” and they demand that the inquiry into Macchiarini's work be reopened and transferred from the Karolinska to an independent ethical review board. The Academy also finds “it deeply unfortunate that the well-publicised report about the first operation with an artificial trachea, published in
    The Lancet
    in 2011, remains unchanged on the journal's website”. The reason it remains unchanged, of course, is that the most recent investigation into Macchiarini's work, conducted by the Karolinska, found that he was not guilty of scientific misconduct. And here lies the reason for the crisis—the escalating and angry debate about Macchiarini's work has, the Academy believes, seriously damaged public trust in the Karolinska and the integrity of Swedish science. For a country that takes its contribution to global science so seriously, this situation is simply unacceptable.
     
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  10. Asa

    Asa Senior Member

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    Another "bread crumb" - from Coyne's latest blog (linked to and discussed in the following thread: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...oves-forward-with-routine-data-sharing.43175/)


    Maybe the Nordic Trial Alliance should be educated about PACE? Consider:


    "A new strong and detailed report, written by Nordic clinical trial experts, sets a high international standard for clinical trial transparency and sets out how to make it a reality. The report from the Nordic Trial Alliance Working Group on Transparency and Registration aims to make the Nordic countries world leaders in clinical trial transparency. It says academic institutions and politicians need to create clear laws, regulations and guidelines to ensure:
    • registration of all trials and retrospective registration of unregistered trials,
    • reporting of summary results from all trials within one year of the end of the trial and retrospective reporting of unreported trials,
    • publication of full trial reports at the same time as the summary results and
    • sharing of depersonalised individual patient data.

    Sir Iain Chalmers, coordinator of the James Lind Initiative and co-founder of AllTrials campaign:
    Everyone should welcome this collective initiative by leading experts from all the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – acting together to demand greater transparency
    in clinical trials. Their recommendations set a high standard for their governments and institutions to adopt and for other regions to reach for...

    Christian Gluud, Head of Department at Copenhagen Trial Unit and Chair of the Nordic Trial Alliance Working Group on Transparency and Registration:
    Discussions have been ongoing on transparency and data sharing of clinical research data for more than 30 years and most of the discussions have talked about it as something relevant for a distant future. The Nordic Trial Alliance report demonstrates that the future is here now – we just need to act! ... Anything else would be unethical.

    This report adds to the growing chorus of influential bodies calling for an end to secrecy in clinical trial results. Last week, the WHO said that results from all trials, including past trials, should be made available and in January the Institute of Medicine in the USA said sharing data from clinical trials should “become the norm.”


    http://www.alltrials.net/news/nordic-researchers-want-to-lead-the-world-in-clinical-trial-transparency/
     
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  11. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Looks like 2011 was not a good year for The Lancet.
     
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  12. Yogi

    Yogi Senior Member

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  13. moosie

    moosie

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  14. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    Germany
  15. Yogi

    Yogi Senior Member

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    On BBC 4 live now , three part series on the other Lancet paper of 2011 of Machiarini.

    Also on BBC iPlayer

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b080k2z4

    Now how do we get BBC 4 to do another three part series on Simon Weasely, Michael Sharpe and Peter White????

    Any thoughts?
     
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  16. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    And.... the first thing I've wanted on the i-player since we've stated needing a license to access it.
     
  17. BurnA

    BurnA Senior Member

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    Cant access outside of UK :-(
     

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