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Read Original Story

Some transplant patients OK without years of drug treatment

Rating

4 Star

Some transplant patients OK without years of drug treatment

Our Review Summary

Acute rejection is a major concern in organ transplantation. Rejection is normally treated and prevented with immune supressing drugs, including steroids, to prevent the body from attacking the foreign organ. However these drugs are associated with significant side effects and harms, especially when taken for long periods of time. This story reports on an interesting new technique of transplantation that involves treating the organ with the donor’s own stem cells to protect the organ from a response by the recipient’s immune system.

The story does a great job of describing the novelty and availability of the new technique. It quotes multiple sources, describes the alternatives and does not engage in disease mongering. The story adequately describes the strength of the available evidence by describing the studies as "preliminary" and bringing attention to the very small sample sizes. However, the story could have made less use of such terms as "groundbreaking" and "breakthrough" to describe the treatment in light of the preliminary nature of the findings.

Furthermore, the story should have described the costs of the new technique and mentioned the potential harms.

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

Although the story mentions the cost of immunosuppressant drugs, the story does not mention the cost of the new transplant technique.

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

Not Applicable

Given the preliminary nature of the findings, it is not yet possible to quantify the benefits of the new transplantation technique.

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

Not Satisfactory

The story does not mention any potential harms of the therapy.

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

Satisfactory

The story adequately describes the strength of the available evidence. The story describes the studies as "preliminary" and brings attention to the very small sample sizes. However, the story could have made less use of such terms as "groundbreaking" and "breakthrough" to describe the treatment in light of the preliminary nature of the findings.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story does not exaggerate the prevalence or seriousness of kidney disease.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story mentions immunosuppressants with traditional transplantation as the alternative to the new transplant technique.

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

Satisfactory

The story clearly states that the transplant technique is experimental and is only being performed in a handful of medical centers.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story clearly states that the treatment is a new approach.

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

Satisfactory

Because the story quotes multiple sources, the reader can assume that the story did not rely on a press release as the sole source of information.

Total Score: 7 of 9 Satisfactory

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