Another Wakefield paper retracted

1 Jun

Following the retraction by The Lancet of Mr. Wakefield’s “landmark” 1998 paper, many speculated as to if and when other retractions would follow.

The patient pool Mr. Wakefield relied upon for his study was very biased by the referral process. Also, Mr. Wakefield’s team was working without ethical approval for many of the children studied. The natural question to follow is not if The Lancet should retract, but how many papers by Mr. Wakefield’s team were also tainted and should be retracted.

The American Journal of Gastroenterology has retracted a paper from 2000 by Mr. Wakefield’s team: Enterocolitis in Children With Developmental Disorders.

Here is the notice:

Retraction: Enterocolitis in Children With Developmental Disorders

A J Wakefield, A Anthony, S H Murch, M Thomson, S M Montgomery, S Davies, J J O’Leary, M Berelowitz and J A Walker-Smith

Am J Gastroenterol 2000; 95:2285–2295

On 28 January 2010, the UK General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practice Panel raised concerns about a paper published in the Lancet by Dr Wakefield et al. (1). The main issues were that the patient sample collected was likely to be biased and that the statement in the paper, that the study had local ethics committee approval, was false. There was also the possibility of a serious conflict of interest in the interpretation of the data. The Lancet has now retracted this paper (1). This paper in the American Journal of Gastroenterology (AJG) (2) also includes the 12 patients in the original Lancet article and therefore we retract this AJG paper from the public record.

3 Responses to “Another Wakefield paper retracted”

  1. Brian Deer June 2, 2010 at 20:14 #

    I would be surprised now if Wakefield can cling on to his fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists, which was obtained, not because he knew anything about pathology, but because his name was on a collection of papers he submitted.

  2. Dr Aust June 2, 2010 at 20:59 #

    One assumes it was mostly a compendium of his pre-Lancet paper collected work that got him the FRCPath, largely the stuff with Roy Pounder. So I suppose one could argue it wasn’t necessarily “tainted” by the ongoing cave-in of his post-1998 output. Even if one views everything post-Lancet as highly suspect, given it largely came from the same patient group and their archived samples, that doesn’t automatically bear on the earlier work.

    I can well believe the College of Pathologists would be happy to find a reason to rescind the award, though.


  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Another Wakefield paper retracted « Left Brain/Right Brain -- - June 2, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Squillo, Alan Henness. Alan Henness said: RT @kevleitch: Another Wakefield paper retracted: Following the retraction by The Lancet of Mr. Wakefield’s “landmar… […]

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