April 23, 2018 | News Release Review

Diagnostic brain scans still preliminary, despite optimistic announcement

This release suggests that it’s possible to use an fMRI brain scan to diagnose diseases  or conditions. That is very premature. Diagnostic tests have yet to be developed.

2 Star

Brain scans may help diagnose neurological, psychiatric disorders

April 20, 2018 | News Release Review

Announcement advocating increased screenings for diabetes ignores harms of overdiagnosis

This release challenges one set of recommendations for who should be screened for “prediabetes” and type 2 diabetes but doesn’t offer strong evidence to make its claim that expanded screening is the answer.

2 Star

Screenings miss half of diabetic, prediabetic patients

April 18, 2018 | News Release Review 2

University touts new device to protect women from HIV; buries fact it was only tested in rabbits

The headline and text repeatedly imply the approach could “prevent women from getting HIV infection,” but saves the fact that the study is in rabbits for the very end.

2 Star

University of Waterloo develops new way to fight HIV transmission

April 16, 2018 | News Release Review 1

Not a lick of evidence is given to back claim that panic attack therapy is highly successful

The release also claims that the device reduces costs by 50% and PTSD by 90% — again without providing any evidence or study references.

1 Star

Multiple Studies Show Freespira® Eliminates Panic Attacks in 80% of Patients

April 13, 2018 | News Release Review

Kudos for several cautions, but college announcement sidesteps other key details on new class of cancer drug

An important financial conflict of interest and any discussion of potential harms were left out of the release.

2 Star

New class of drugs could help tackle treatment-resistant cancers

April 11, 2018 | News Release Review

Let’s be clear: claim that new cancer combo ‘improves survival’ misleads

As new drug combos come on line for difficult to treat cancers like uterine serous carcinoma (USC), researchers claim success in terms of months, not years. Increasingly, months of progression-free survival — not overall survival — is reported as the clinical trial endpoint. But taking into account harms and costs, is that cause for celebration?

2 Star

New drug combo improves survival of women with rare uterine cancer

April 9, 2018 | News Release Review

Better to sacrifice brevity in favor of clarity when promoting breast cancer screening strategies

This news release makes recommendations on a very important topic — when lymph node biopsies may not be necessary in breast cancer diagnosis — and deserved more details.

3 Star

Allina study shows patients with very small breast tumors may forgo lymph node biopsies

April 6, 2018 | News Release Review 3

Study summary omitted key detail about acupressure for menstrual pain relief

You have to read the study to learn that acupressure delivered via smart phone app was an add-on therapy and not a replacement for traditional treatments for menstrual pain.

4 Star

Acupressure for menstrual pain

April 5, 2018 | News Release Review 1

Mayo recap of device for migraine prevention omits conflict of interest disclosure

In addition, some information on costs and the study limitations would have made this a stronger news release.

2 Star

Noninvasive stimulation device can help prevent migraine attacks

April 4, 2018 | News Release Review

Headline overreach mars summary of phase 1 pediatric cancer drug trial

This was a safety trial involving only 17 patients so right out of the gate this news release misleads by claiming “effectiveness in 93 percent of pediatric patients tested.”

2 Star

Pediatric cancer drug shows 93 percent response rate


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