NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine -

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Weekly e-mail digests available at:

New York Times, 5-star score
Doubts on Ovarian Cancer Relapse Test
Good job describing the current study and how it relates to current clinical thinking. Adds to the “more is not always better” knowledgebase that is growing in health care.

ABC World News with Charles Gibson, 0-star score
Personalized Cancer Care
This story is a marketing coup for a hospital, but its relevance to most cancer patients is unclear. This story failed on costs and on context, cheerleading for an approach that lacks evidence.

ABC’s Good Morning America, 2-star score
Cutting the fat–without incisions: New weight-loss surgery
Breathless enthusiasm – not backed by facts about new incision-free approach to weight loss surgery. Story calls it “remarkable” and “exciting” but that results aren’t as good as gastric bypass.

ABC World News with Charles Gibson, 2-star score
Diabetes Test: Simple Diagnosis
ABC missed the whole point of the news – calling an old test “new” but that it’s “already widely available.” It never explained what it’s used for now and what the change would be. Weak. Unhelpful.

Washington Post, 5-star score
Peanuts, Anyone? Researchers Expose Kids to Risky Foods In Order to Cure Them
Nice job on a story about desensitization for milk and peanut allergies. Emphasized that the work has been done in small studies so far, and that it’s far from ready for widespread use.

CBS The Early Show, 1-star score
Erasing Age Lines: New Wrinkle in Anti-Aging Devices
Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, “when you get there, there isn’t any there there.” With its lack of useful information about a wrinkles laser, the same could be said of this story that isn’t a story.

USA Today, 2-star score
Here’s a twist to managing back pain: Push your muscles
Story didn’t emphasize the findings haven’t been peer-reviewed, didn’t explain absolute benefit to patients, and didn’t include independent perspectives.

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