This story is based upon new research that examines genes and biochemical pathways associated with lung cancer in smokers with and without lung cancer. This would allow lung cancer to be detected in its early, more treatable stages or before it developed.
Hyperbolic writing and choice of quotes resulted in phrases such as:
However, the results are very preliminary, particularly those pertaining to reversal of carcinogenesis by inositol – which was tested in only a few people, something the story didn’t explain.
This is an important area of research but this story felt like cheerleading more than an analytical exploration of the evidence.
Not applicable because of the early stage of research.
Didn’t give any numbers on how well the test performed. And didn’t explain that inositol was tested in just a few people. Very weak in this area.
No potential harms are discussed. Bronchoscopy can be risky, especially in those with already compromised lung function such as smokers.
There is no mention of the magnitude of effect, number of subjects studied, or other details that shed light on the quality of evidence. Very weak in this area.
No overt disease mongering about lung cancer.
Barely satisfactory. One independent expert quoted – but one whose quote offered no analysis. Financial interest of the lead investigator is mentioned.
Not only was the other genetic signature research not mentioned, there was no discussion of other means of detecting early lung cancer such as chest CT – albeit controversial.
The opening line of the article — "Researchers may have found an easy way to detect lung cancer in its early or even pre-cancerous
stages, as well as a way to reverse the start of the deadly disease with a readily available, over-the-counter drug" – overstates the evidence for inositol’s effectiveness, and implies that it is available in a form that could reverse the development of lung cancer.
Didn’t put this new research into the context of any of the other lung cancer genetic expression research underway, so this story provides no context on the true novelty of this approach.
One independent expert quoted, so apparently did not rely on a news release.