The Duke investigators said their data showed that expression of a particular gene, ERCC1, correlated with response to some agents. However, the commercial microarray chip the Duke investigators said they used in their experiments does not include that gene. â€œI admit this is one for which I do not have a simple, charitable explanation,â€ [said] Dr. Baggerly.
Potti, you may remember, lied about having a Rhodes Fellowship. Duke’s first investigation found him innocent.
Later events caused Duke officials to reconsider. They are still making up their minds. This is a horror story because a clinical trial based on Potti’s research is in progress. A hundred cancer patients are getting treated according to Potti’s research — that is, according to research that is probably fraudulent. Duke has done nothing to warn the patients or stop the trial.
The whole thing reminds me of UC Berkeley researchers taking weeks to tell a woman she had a large lump in her brain. As if their legal liability were more important than her life.