“Not surprisingly...there are certain members of the stem cell field who would rather focus away from the ideas that iPS cells are similar in some respects to cancer.”
“Once we had a manuscript together comparing iPS cells to cancer cells, we sent it to several high profile journals without much luck. We thought that the fact that our data indicated that iPS cells are similar to cancer cells might make reviewers and editors excited. We thought that the paper was novel and thought provoking in a number of ways. At the same time I realized the theme of the paper would be controversial.
“I would say two general things about the review process at the two journals that turned down the paper. First, the reviewers at these journals were enormously helpful with their suggestions and helped us improve the paper substantially. Second, they were clearly very uncomfortable with the notion that iPS cells are related in some ways to cancer so unsettled in fact that I believe it influenced their reviews.”
“Yeah, it may be unsettling that iPS cells share traits with cancer cells, but if that is the reality, isn’t it important that people know that and think about it, talk about it, and address the issue with eyes open?”