No costs are discussed. But we can understand that since the story is based on an early phase of research – so early that the question might be about its newsworthiness.
No potential harms are discussed, nor is it mentioned that the safety profile in humans has yet to be established. The article would have done well to continue the Dr. Eck quote from the press release to include his acknowledgment that "we still have much to learn about their potential liabilities," referring to this new class of compounds.
The "hope" that the compound will have fewer harms than currently available drugs appears to be based largely on in vitro data.
The article provides no evaluation of the evidence beyond what was in the press release, which itself downplays the fact that the evidence is not from humans.
The article presents accurate data on lung cancer mortality and NSCLC from the American Cancer Society.
No independent source is cited besides the ACS statistics on lung cancer. Any story that allows a researcher to make bold claims such as that this research "will lead to an effective treatment for the thousands of non-small cell lung cancer patients worldwide" demands an independent perspective.
The article mentions that the compound is being developed for NSCLCs that are resistant to 2 other drugs. However, it does not mention whether those 2 drugs are the only available treatment approaches for patients who might conceivably receive the new compound.
Not until the very end of the article do we learn that the dramatic results against NSCLC tumors occurred in mice, not human beings. In fact, it never states the setting for any results — an important point because the article fails to reveal that some results, such as the compound’s apparent ability to spare normal tissues, were achieved in cell lines, not even in mice, according to the press release and article published in Nature. Therefore, most of the article is misleading .
Read the pivotal sentence below. Without any mention of animals preceding it, how could we not assume that the lungs, cancers, and powerful treatment effects were in humans?
This sentence, if not the article’s title, should have been qualified with the word "animal," "mouse," or even "murine."
The article provides almost no caveats about the preliminary nature of these results, nor the limitations of extrapolating to humans any data obtained from cell lines and animals. While the article does contain two statements, essentially quoting the press release, about what lies ahead following these early data, both sentences contain a "but" followed by the investigators’ optimism.
The article describes the novelty of the compound.
Besides the final paragraph on epidemiology, the article appears to rely entirely on the Dana Farber press release. Much of the language was taken verbatim. One researcher’s quote is identical to one in the news release, yet there is no attribution, making it appear as though WebMD interviewed the researcher.