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Skin cancer drug said to show promise

Rating

5 Star

Skin cancer drug said to show promise

Our Review Summary

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. If caught early, it is highly treatable. If found in advanced stages, the 5 year survival drops significantly. This story reports on the results of a small pilot study showing a benefit in treating advanced stage melanoma using a new class of drug. This short story does a great job of informing the reader while using a minimum of words (only 343).

The story adequately represents the availability and novelty of the new drug. The story accurately describes the strength of the available evidence by correctly describing the current study as "small" and "preliminary."

The story does a good job of quantifying the benefits of treatment in absolute terms by providing the actual number of months with no new lesions for both the new drug group and the standard treatment group.

Finally, the story does mention that "there are very few drugs available for people with advanced melanoma." However, the story could have elaborated on the available alternatives and how this new drug may fit in with the existing options.

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Applicable

The story does not mention costs, but it is understandable that pricing may not be available with a drug so early in development.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story does a good job of quantifying the benefits of treatment in absolute terms by providing the actual number of months with no new lesions for both the new drug group and the standard treatment group.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story mentions that potential harms of the drug include a drop in white blood cells, back pain and fatigue.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Satisfactory

The story adequately describes the design of the current study. The story accurately describes the study as "small" and "preliminary."

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story does not overstate the seriousness or prevalence of melanoma.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Satisfactory

The story quotes one independent expert in addition to a representative of the company.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

The story does mention that "there are very few drugs available for people with advanced melanoma." However, the story could have elaborated on the available alternatives and how this new drug may fit in with the existing options.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story clearly states that the drug is in very early stages of development and has not yet been submitted for approval.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story clearly states that the drug is new.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Not Applicable

There is no way to know if the story relied on a press release as the sole source of information.

Total Score: 7 of 8 Satisfactory

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