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New drug advances the fight against pancreatic cancer

Rating

4 Star

Categories

New drug advances the fight against pancreatic cancer

Our Review Summary

This story succinctly captures the important take-aways of the new study in terms of survival advantage and quality of life, while employing two key experts for perspective.

 

Why This Matters

Pancreatic cancer is typically such a poor-prognosis tumor that research like this is newsworthy.

Criteria

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

Satisfactory

The story did an adequate job of summarizing the benefits reported in the study and putting them into context.

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

Not Satisfactory

The story stated that Folfirinox “caused more serious side effects than standard chemo” but never named them nor quantified them. The journal article reports, for example, that:

75 of those in the Folfirinox group (46%) had neutropenia compared with 35 in the Gemcitabine group (21%)
21 of those in the Folfirinox group (13%) had diarrhea compared with 3 in the Gemcitabine group (2%)
15 of those in the Folfirinox group (9%) had sensory neuropathy compared with 0 in the Gemcitabine group

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

Satisfactory

Adequate evaluation of the evidence, including a cautionary note from one independent expert.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

There was no disease-mongering of pancreatic cancer in this story.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Satisfactory

Two independent sources were quoted. Good sourcing.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The focus of the story is comparing the new drug combo with the existing alternative – gemcitabine.

The story appropriately ended with this independent expert perspective:

“…doctors are testing other drug combinations to treat pancreatic cancer. She’s hopeful that these combinations will work as well or better than Folfirinox, with fewer serious side effects. Folfirinox “is going to be one of a host of options” for patients, Azad says “

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

Not Satisfactory

The story never explained the availability of the drug in the US or even if it’s FDA approved.  The story referred to it as “new…novel combination…I see it becoming the standard of care…going to be one of a host of options” but none of those descriptions explains whether it’s approved and available now.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story refers to Folfirinox as a new drug and a novel combination, but also offers an independent expert’s perspective that “doctors are testing other drug combinations to treat pancreatic cancer. She’s hopeful that these combinations will work as well or better than Folfirinox, with fewer serious side effects…and that Folfirinox “is going to be one of a host of options” for patients.”

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

Satisfactory

It’s clear that the story did not rely on a news release.

Total Score: 7 of 10 Satisfactory

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