Saturday, July 6, 2013

Allegations against Düsseldorf cardiologists: studies are hundreds of errors ... - Spiegel Online

It was the summer of 2001, when Bodo-Eckehard Strauer stunned the experts and patients made great hope: The Düsseldorf-based cardiologist had injected a man after a heart attack adult stem cells into the heart. The material from the bone marrow of 46-year-olds should strengthen the diseased organ. Just five months after surgery, then drummed Strauer journalists and announced: The dead parts of the heart are brought back to life. A sensation.

Strauer was hailed as “a specialist in matters of the heart.” Politicians and theologians negotiated his method as a kind of “secret weapon” against the highly controversial embryonic stem cell therapy. Strauer was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, CDU politician Hubert Hüppe called a “massive research program” for the method of adult cell therapy.

Today the doctor is suspected to have worked scientifically unclean. Only in December 2012, there had been accusations of manipulation. The Düsseldorf University opened an investigation into scientific misconduct. Now British researchers put a long list of alleged errors and inconsistencies before.

a “minefield of contradictions”

cardiologists Darrel Francis and Graham Cole and Michael Mielewczik biologist from Imperial College London analyzed 48 studies of cardiologists from Düsseldorf and want to have more than 200 contradictions found. The work was published in the prestigious journal “International Journal of Cardiology”.

The success of the physician, until his retirement in 2009 Director of the Clinic for Cardiology in Dusseldorf be, has fervent them. Scientists from London twice cases list the used records and graphics. They postulate calculation errors and incorrect use of statistics. The list is long. Strauers results were “due to a minefield of contradictions almost uninterpretable,” wrote Francis and colleagues.

final judgment, however, they do not deliver, but they criticize a careless handling of the magazines with the results of the Düsseldorf professor. These have been internationally cited several thousand times without inconsistencies were discovered. “I am of the opinion that the discrepancies mentioned by us require a comprehensive and transparent explanation,” called Michael Mielewczik.

private war or professional discourse?

Bodo-Eckehard Strauer refused to comment on SPIEGEL ONLINE, referring to his media lawyer. Which explains the lead author of the analysis in the “International Journal of Cardiology” criticizing his client for personal reasons.

So all

a private war? You would see many stem cell researchers certainly different. Strauer individual cases like that prominently reported that he first had to test on animals to approach, complained quite a few colleagues. “German bravado” called it Piero Anversa, now a professor in Boston, in the journal “Science”.

Human stem cells are considered to be all-rounders, with their help brains to regenerate and replace damaged cartilage and repaired dead tissue. But the cells are as coveted as controversial, especially those from embryos. Strauers method was made without embryonic stem cells, so they also fascinated by the art. As a further alternative today are induced pluripotent stem cells, which can be obtained from mature somatic cells.

Divided reactions from research

Rostock Gustav Steinhoff research with adult stem cells in heart attack therapy. He did not think that the negative headlines burden the whole branch of research, Steinhoff says: “There are already many studies that demonstrate the safety and efficacy of cardiac therapy with stem cells from the bone marrow.”

Andreas Zeiher, University Hospital Frankfurt sees it differently. The British analysis was “another major blow to the field of stem cell medicine,” he told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. The field had aroused great expectations, but will ruined by irresponsible scientists who are focused on their own agenda.


keeps you currently at University Hospital Dusseldorf. Both the “Commission for the protection of good scientific practice” and a panel of independent external experts identified already said spokeswoman Susanne Dopheide, the investigations were still not completed. The analysis of the British researcher gives an idea of ??the reason is that the commissions have to clarify a lot


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