A Norwegian cancer expert made up fictitious patients for an article about treatment of oral cancer published in a leading medical journal, the hospital said on Sunday.
“The material was fabricated,” said Trine Lind, spokeswoman of the Norwegian Radium Hospital where Jon Sudbo has worked as a doctor and a researcher. “We are shocked. This is the worst thing that could happen in a research institution like ours.”
Sudbo, 44, invented patients and case histories for a study of oral cancer that was published in the British medical journal the Lancet in October 2005, she said.
The Norwegian daily Dagbladet said that 250 of his sample of 908 people in the study all shared the same birthday.
Lind said Sudbo, who has not commented publicly on the hospital’s charges and could not be contacted on Sunday, had admitted falsifying the data for the article.
The hospital has set up a commission to investigate why Sudbo falsified data and how his material passed a review by other experts.
The panel would also examine previous articles by Sudbo, including two in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The Radium Hospital had halted Sudbo’s research at the department of Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy and was discussing whether he could continue treating patients.
The report in the Lancet was entitled “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk of oral cancer.”
It concluded that long-term use of the drugs could help reduce chances of oral cancer, including in smokers, but could also bring higher risks of death from heart disease.