SAN DIEGO -- The editor-in-chief at the Journal of the American College of Cardiology confirmed today that an editorial on drug-eluting stents in the Jan. 2 issue contains a significant error.
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 27 -- The editor-in-chief at the Journal of the American College of Cardiology confirmed today that an editorial on drug-eluting stents in the Jan. 2 issue contains a significant error.
The editorial by Morton J. Kern, M.D., of the University of California-Irvine, identified paclitaxel -- a drug that coats Taxus, a drug-eluting stent -- as tacrolimus.
In fact, tacrolimus is an antiproliferative and immunosuppressant drug that belongs to an entirely different class of drugs than paclitaxel, a cancer drug from the taxane family. Dr. Kern went into some detail to describe the mechanism of tacrolimus, an agent that is, in fact, irrelevant to the subject of his editorial, while ignoring the mechanism of paclitaxel.
Moreover, in the prominent paragraph in which paclitaxel is identified as tacrolimus, Dr. Kern misspelled paclitaxel as paclitaxil.
Dr. Kern, in response to an email, acknowledged the error but offered no explanation for how it occurred.
When informed of the error by a MedPage Today reporter, Anthony De Maria, M.D., of the University of California at San Diego, the editor-in-chief of JACC, exclaimed, "I'm not sure, but in five years and God knows how many editorials and articles, this sounds like the biggest gaffe we've made to this point in time."
The editorial, which accompanied a study by Swiss researchers led by Christian Seiler, M.D. of University Hospital in Bern, appears in print in the Jan. 2 issue of JACC and was released online late yesterday.
Because the editorial is in the print edition, Dr. DeMaria said, "we will need to publish an erratum."
But because the editorial was released online and promoted in press release from the American College of Cardiology, Dr. DeMaria said, "we probably also need to release a statement on this."
The problem for Dr. DeMaria was further complicated by timing. The ACC headquarters at Heart House in Bethesda, Md., is closed for the holiday week and ACC support staffers are all on an extended break.
Dr. DeMaria was also on extended holiday and during a phone interview, in which children could be heard in the background, he lamented that "this could not have happened at a worse time."
He was also flummoxed as to how the error occurred because, he said, the editorial "was read by I don't know how many people and we all just missed this."