Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital began a review of the work of Dr. Piero Anversa in 2013. In 2014, co-authors who had worked with Dr. Anversa wrote to a journal to complain that the data Dr. Anversa included in the article were not the data they had generated. By 2017, the hospital agreed to pay $10 million to the Feds to settle charges that Dr. Anversa had submitted false data to get research funding. Now, Harvard has notified the publishers of 31 articles by Dr. Anversa needed to be retracted.
Turns out that the doc’s research was bogus. The injection of bone marrow stem cells into hearts does not repair heart damage. The doc had crashed onto the research scene with his study on bone marrow injections into the heart as a means of regenerating tissue. Docs and researchers around the country were trying to duplicate the results and could find no miracle or even movement. When they questioned the studies they were told, “You’re not doing the injections correctly.” No one in the field was ever able to do it right.
Yet, people are still signing up for the program and companies are still selling stem cells. And why did it take so long to get this all out in the open? Some say they wanted to believe. Some say they felt the, “Who I am to question?” syndrome because this was Harvard, after all.
Took almost two decades, but the truth emerged. However, along the way the questions should have been made public. 2013 would have been the latest date, not the earliest for a little candor.
We know about the social science research frauds — are people who ride the subway more likely to make charitable donations and do people who like Popsicles vote independent. Those types of falsified data just fueled discussions and USA Today p. 1A data charts in the lower left-hand corner. These studies put patients at risk, cost millions, and did nothing. Stunning is the only word that comes to mind.