Duke Suspends Clinical Trials After Scandal Over Padded Resumé

Duke University has suspended three cancer clinical trials in response to allegations that a key researcher on the studies embellished his resumé.

The uproar
began last week when The Cancer Letter, a Washington, D.C., newsletter, reported that Anil Potti had apparently lied about being a Rhodes scholar and made other unverifiable claims on biographies included in his grant applications. Duke suspended Potti, and the American Cancer Society halted payments on a grant.="#sci-comments">

Today, The New York Times reports that on Sunday Duke decided to halt enrollment in three clinical trials in which Potti and Duke's Joseph Nevins were using gene-expression signatures to predict a patient's response to chemotherapy. The university said it was responding to allegations about Potti's credentials and plans to review the research.

In addition, the Times reports, more than two dozen cancer researchers and biostatisticians expressed concerns about the trials in a letter Monday to National Cancer Institute Director Harold Varmus. (The letter was also sent to the head of Duke's cancer center, H. Kim Lyerly.) The letter reads in part: "Recently, published and peer-reviewed re-analyses of the work done by Potti and Nevins revealed serious errors that questioned the validity of the prediction models upon which these ongoing clinical trials are based."