Fabricated cancer study published in the Lancet

In a somewhat shocking revelation it has been disclosed that a Norwegian cancer expert made up fictitious patients for an article about treatment of oral cancer published in a leading medical journal.

Trine Lind, a spokeswoman at the Norwegian Radium Hospital says the material was fabricated.

The hospital is in shock and say the incident is the worst thing that could happen in a research institution.

Forty four year old Jon Sudbo worked as a doctor and a researcher at the hospital and it seems he invented patients and case histories for a study of oral cancer that was published in the British medical journal the Lancet in October 2005.

According to reports 250 of his sample of 908 people in the study all shared the same birthday.

Sudbo, has not commented publicly on the hospital's charges and is unable to be contacted, but Lind says he has admitted falsifying the data for the article.

The hospital has set up a commission in order to investigate why Sudbo falsified the data and how his material passed a review by other experts.

The panel will also examine previous articles by Sudbo, including two in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Radium Hospital has stopped Sudbo's research at the department of Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy and is discussing whether he can be allowed to continue treating patients.

The report in the Lancet was entitled "non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk of oral cancer".

Sudbo concluded that long-term use of the drugs could help reduce incidents of oral cancer, including in smokers, but heightened the risk of death from heart disease.

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