In this story we learn of a new scanner, CT/PET, that could potentially improve the ability to correctly stage certain types of cancer. This technology would be most appropriate for cancers that spread to the lymph nodes first, such as lung, breast, and prostate cancer. CT/PET is an improvement on CT, MRI, or X-ray because it can differentiate cancer cells from normal cells based on glucose metabolism. Accurate staging is important because invasive surgery is as stake.
Although this story accurately represents the novelty and availability of the technology, avoids disease mongering and quotes multiple sources, it does not provide the reader with enough information on alternative options, the nature of the clinical evidence, the harms/side effects of the test, or the costs. Most importantly, however, the story does not explain what the test entails (what’s involved in the prep, time required, etc) nor does it quantify how much better the test is compared to the alternatives and whether these benefits are clinically significant.
Although the story makes many claims about past and projected
future revenues, there is no attempt to compare the costs of the new approach to existing ones. The story claims the new
scanners are cost-effective and may even save money by preventing unnecessary surgeries, but there is no evidence presented
to support these claims.
The story does not present any quantification of
the benefits of CT/PET
There is no mention of potential harms or side effects
There is no mention of the clinical evidence
Multiple sources are quoted.
Although the story claims that CT/PET is an improvement over existing scanners, it does not mention
what the alternatives are, nor does it present the advantages/disadvantages of the new approach compared to existing.
The story says that the scanners
went on the market in 2001
The story makes it clear
that this is a new technology that’s really a combination of two existing technologies