Harvard and the Brigham call for more than 30 retractions of cardiac stem cell research

Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School say that 31 papers from the lab of Piero Anversa, MD, should be retracted from medical journals. These papers, based on the idea that the heart contains stem cells that can regenerate cardiac muscle, "included falsified and/or fabricated data," the institutions say.

Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School say that 31 papers from the lab of Piero Anversa, MD, should be retracted from medical journals. These papers, based on the idea that the heart contains stem cells that can regenerate cardiac muscle, "included falsified and/or fabricated data," the institutions say. In 2017, the hospital agreed to a $10 million settlement with the U.S. government over allegations Anversa and two colleagues' work had been used to fraudulently obtain federal funding. Anversa and Annarosa Leri, MD, have had at least one paper already retracted, and one subject to an expression of concern. The researchers unsuccessfully sued Harvard and the Brigham for alerting journals to problems in their work in 2014. Anversa's lab closed in 2015; and Anversa, Leri, and colleague Jan Kajstura, PhD, no longer work at the hospital. The U.S. Office of Research Integrity has not made a finding in the case. Anversa previously corrected eight of his papers, many for failing to disclose conflicts of interest. Various research teams have been unable to reproduce the results claimed in Anversa's work involving "c-kit cells." Some scientists have tried to inject c-kit cells into damaged hearts and saw only mixed results.