60 Minutes report says local cancer doctor manipulated research

Photo courtesy of Duke University

A Grand Strand doctor's practices are under the microscope. Doctor Anil Potti practices oncology at Coastal Cancer Center, but it's his former practices as a researcher for Duke University that are raising questions.

At the time his research was released, it was known as a breakthrough in the field of cancer treatment.

His data showed a link between a cancer patient's DNA and the most effective method of treatment.

But reports given by Duke University and the CBS News magazine show 60 Minutes say Dr. Potti manipulated data to match his theory.

The university's dismissal of his research led to the retraction of his articles in the Journal of Medicine, and the scrutiny of the once highly honored physician continues.

"We were totally unaware that 60 Minutes was airing anything," said Coastal Cancer Center President Dr. Lawrence Holt. "This came out of the blue for us."

As a member of CCC's staff, Potti has only dealt with treating patients and is never involved in clinical trials or research said Holt.

For the time being, Potti will remain with the center he said.

"He's well regarded by the patients and physicians, that he's interacted with locally. We will obviously review everything as it comes out and have to make judgment in the future."

The North Carolina Board of Medicine is investigating Potti's research conduct.

Holt declined to discuss whether Potti would continue his work with the center if new information came to light.

Duke University has written an apology pertaining to Potti's research.

Potti could not be reached for comment. He works out of Coastal Cancer Center's Loris office.

Potti has yet to talk with Coastal Cancer Center's board said Holt.

The center has four branches in South Carolina and one in North Carolina.