Read Original Story

Scanner brightens cancer cells


3 Star

Scanner brightens cancer cells

Our Review Summary

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.


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

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.

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

Not Satisfactory

The story does not present any quantification of

the benefits of CT/PET

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

Not Satisfactory

There is no mention of potential harms or side effects

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

Not Satisfactory

There is no mention of the clinical evidence

Does the story commit disease-mongering?


No obvious


Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

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.

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


The story says that the scanners

went on the market in 2001

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?


The story makes it clear

that this is a new technology that’s really a combination of two existing technologies

Total Score: 5 of 10 Satisfactory


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