Dr. Anil Potti, the cancer researcher who lied

Liar, liar, researcher on fire

Dr. Anil Potti from Duke University had discovered a revolutionary treatment that tailored chemotherapy to a cancer patient's individual genetics. It promised to be an amazing breakthrough. Papers were published in prestigious journals and desperate patients signed up for the clinical trials. But there was something wrong.

First, there were problems with the data that proved the treatments could work - outside experts found significant errors. And then Dr. Joseph Nevins, who ran the Nevins Lab at Duke and was Dr. Anil Potti's mentor, discovered something about Dr. Potti's Rhodes scholarship:
Reporter Scott Pelley: You asked him about it?

Nevins: Certainly I asked him about it.

Pelley: What did he say?

Nevins: He said that while it wasn't the Rhodes scholar as we know the Rhodes scholar, it was a fellowship from Australia from a group of Rhodes scholars in Australia. So, a stretch of the truth.

Pelley: Was that the moment when you realized?

Nevins: Amazingly, I was still hanging on to the notion of "there must be a good explanation here." This was--

Pelley: Why were you deluding yourself at that point in time? What is it that you want to believe?

Nevins: I want to believe that somebody that I had trusted, that was a colleague for the last four, five years, someone that I viewed as a friend, was who I thought they were. And then you're faced with the reality of you've been deceived.
Dr. Joseph Nevins then reviewed the data and found it had been manipulated to show the treatment worked. It didn't.

Deception at Duke  

Deception at Duke, CBS News>>


  1. If you do a search for "Anil Potti" the first result you get is this very strange website that shows a bunch of skinny white people standing around, and some stock photos of medical-related things. It says that "Dr. Anil Potti is an Oncologist and an Advocate for Personalized Cancer Therapies." It talks about Dr. Potti but shows no current photo of him except in a video. Of course it doesn't mention his lies. I looked up who registered it, and it was registered by onlinereputationmanager.com on January 14, 2011. The company tries to help companies who have been unfairly smeared, because "Every day, lies, distortions, smears, and rumors fill the blogs, newsletters, and forums." I guess Dr. Anil doesn't want his reputation tarnished. You think it might be a bit late for that, what with 60 Minutes and The New York Times publicizing his lies.

  2. Shame on India guys.


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