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September 21, 2018 | News Release Review

Zika vaccine for brain cancer? PR release headline omits crucial words: ‘in mice’

The release would have benefited from a strong caution that outcomes from research in mice are seldom replicated in human studies.

2 Star

Zika vaccine shows promise for treating deadly brain cancer

September 21, 2018 | Story Review

Newsweek story on Zika vaccine to zap brain cancer is fascinating–but needed more caution about mouse research

The story does express some limitations of the study findings, which we appreciate.

4 Star

GLIOBLASTOMA: ZIKA VIRUS COULD DESTROY BRAIN CANCER THAT KILLED JOHN MCCAIN

September 19, 2018 | Story Review 2

One woman’s account of spinal cord stimulator skips realities of medical device safety in U.S.

The story also did not mention that the author acknowledged being a paid “advocate” for pain patients, which could present a conflict of interest.

2 Star

Here’s how one woman used an implant to get some relief from chronic back pain

September 19, 2018 | News Release Review

University PR misleads with claim that preliminary blood test detects early pancreatic cancer

Descriptions of the limitations of the research never found their way into this news release.

1 Star

New blood test detects early stage pancreatic cancer

September 17, 2018 | News Release Review

Observational study on testosterone replacement therapy for COPD doesn’t prove cause and effect

More information on the harms, costs and conflicts of interests of the researchers would have made this a better news release.

2 Star

Testosterone replacement therapy may slow the progression of COPD

September 13, 2018 | News Release Review

Recap of lung cancer screening test relies on hyperbole, conjecture to market preliminary result

The release includes no mention of cost, harms from false positive and negative results, or potential conflicts of interest.

2 Star

Nucleix Announces Positive Clinical Results for Lung EpiCheck in Early Detection of Lung Cancer

September 13, 2018 | Story Review

U.S. News churns out puff piece on medical marijuana app research

The story doesn’t address numerous limitations with this research and failed to scrutinize the quality of the evidence.

2 Star

Study: Medical Marijuana Relieves Range of Symptoms With No Serious Side Effects

September 12, 2018 | Story Review

Reuters story on kidney cancer drug makes us ask: How is this journalism?

The story takes the company’s word for the announced benefit without evaluating the claims and fails to address cost or side effects in any way, despite the fact that both drugs are already on the market.

1 Star

Merck KGaA, Pfizer's immuno-drug shown to alleviate kidney cancer

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Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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Story Reviews

Our team of reviewers applies 10 standardized criteria to news stories that include claims about health care interventions. ~2,000 reviews published.

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We systematically evaluate the quality of health care-related news releases by journals, medical centers, drug/device makers, others.

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Wide-ranging exploration of issues in journalism, journal publishing, health care PR, advertising and marketing. Some opinions - publisher Gary Schwitzer's & others'.

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