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5-Star Friday! Not a cancer ‘cure,’ a menstrual pain ‘off switch,’ and therapy for ‘text neck’

Blue 5-starHere’s a quick note to draw attention to some of the 5-star efforts we’ve recently looked at:

Our reviewers thought Maggie Fox of NBC did an exceptional job with her piece, Cancer drug Keytruda keeps some patients alive for 3 years. Excerpt: “… a nice job of walking readers through the study’s numbers, how pembrolizumab might work, the side effects, costs, and other details. It also cites several researchers who weren’t involved with the study and addresses a key issue with hype by stating the study’s finding ‘doesn’t mean a cure.’”

Reviewers also praised Julia Belluz’s piece, This new device claims to be the “off switch for menstrual pain.” And it might actually work, calling it “a great example of how the media should deal with claims made about new devices.”

And they had accolades for the NIH’s news release, Eylea outperforms Avastin for diabetic macular edema with moderate or worse vision loss. They said it “provides just about everything readers need to know about an important study.”

Reviewers gave these stories and news releases 4 stars for meeting almost all of our 10 criteria:

Philadelphia Inquirer: Doctors test new device for uterine fibroids

HealthDay: Could nasal spray curtail nighttime bathroom trips?

American Association for Cancer Research: Investigational CDK4/6 inhibitor abemaciclib is active against a range of cancer types

Wall Street Journal: Cure for Digital Addicts’ ‘Text Neck’?

Other noteworthy items that we did not review:

STAT has been keeping a close eye on the NFL concussion research story with:  After a public fall, face of NFL concussion denial resurfaces. and NFL “improperly attempted to influence” concussion research funding.

FiveThirtyEight explained, in compelling detail, why “Theranos Is Wrong: We Don’t Need More Blood Tests.” 

John Fauber at MedPageToday examined how pharma influences disease definitions with: Lowering the Bar: Medicine in the 21st Century

Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, also writing at STAT, brought us another of their periodic “Five-Year Watch” columns, this time scrutinizing Why a drug that lowers cholesterol doesn’t save lives.

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