Research scam makes waves - Doctor admits to cheating on more research


Doctor admits to cheating on more research

The Norwegian doctor and researcher who set off a scandal by admitting that he fabricated an article in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet has now admitted to also fabricating articles in two other journals as well.

Erling O Lyngtveit is the new attorney for the Norwegian doctor and researcher caught fabricating articles. He met with newspaper Aftenposten over the weekend. PHOTO: OLAV OLSEN

Dr Jon Sudbø, who's now admitted to fabricating three articles about cancers of the mouth, is currently on sick leave himself. PHOTO: RADIUM.NO Related stories: Research scandal will be investigated - 18.01.2006 Research scam makes waves - 17.01.2006 Research cheats may be jailed - 16.01.2006

Dr Jon Sudbø laid all his cards on the table over the weekend, according to his defense attorney, and also claims he regrets the medical bluff he mounted over the past several years.

Oslo attorney Erling O Lyngtveit told newspaper Aftenposten that his client "has expressed a desire to be completely open." Lyngtveit also said that Sudbø will cooperate with both a commission appointed to investigate the medical research scandal and his employer, the national cancer hospital in Oslo (Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet)

Sudbø's fabrication of medical research has rocked not just the research community in Norway, but also in neighboring Sweden and the US, where Sudbø worked with some of the world's top cancer researchers. Several of them had been listed as co-authors of the articles Sudbø now admits fabricating, so the scandal affects their credibility as well.

The other articles Sudbø now says he fabricated include one published in The New England Journal of Medicine in April 2004 and another in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in March 2005, both of which dealt with cancers of the mouth. Sudbø admits that he fabricated fatality statistics in the first article, and cheated on blood test data in the second article.

"He therefore can't stand behind the results that are presented there either," Lyngtveit said.

The attorney stressed on behalf of his client, who's since been admitted to hospital himself and is officially on sick leave, that none of the fraudulent articles has had any consequences for patients. He said other data and studies that Sudbø has presented over the years are genuine.

Lyngtveit called the fabrications "a catastrophe" for Sudbø, "both personnally, professionally and socially. He's taking one day at a time. The most important thing for him now is to prevent his work as a doctor from coming into doubt."

Aftenposten's reporter Anne Hafstad
Aftenposten English Web Desk Nina Berglund

Informant: Iris Atzmon


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