This was a Phase 1 study – not even designed to prove efficacy. Yet the headline talks about “promise” and the body text describes results in two out of 97 patients – only with breast cancer. It feels like a local story promoting local research without appropriate context. Would the newspaper have reported this if it occurred in another city in another state? No chance. So why does local research get promoted when it’s such an early stage that it would never be publicized if it came from anywhere else?
One important part of the story was actually the interview with a breast cancer survivor who said “A lot of these things will shrink a tumor. But what we look at as advocates is overall survival.” And this research is a long way off from being able to show that.
Not applicable. Too early to discuss costs.
Inadequate. We are told that 2 of 97 had significant tumor shrinkage but we’re not told how much and we’re not told anything about what happened to the other 95 women.
The story did state “Patients in the study experienced diarrhea, nausea, rash, fatigue decreased appetite, vomiting, itchiness and taste alteration.”
But we weren’t told how many of the 97 experienced these. So the true scope of what was seen is not reported.
There was no critical analysis of the quality of the evidence. The story offered a scant – but inadequate description of the first two phases of drug trials. But it didn’t describe the degree of tumor shrinkage (only saying “significant”), and didn’t describe what happened to the other 95 of the 97 women in the trial.
No disease-mongering of advanced breast cancer.
There was an important voice added from a breast cancer survivor.
But there was no independent expert perspective added.
There was no comparison made between work on this drug and any other research in this active field of research.
The experimental nature of the drug was clear in the story.
The drug was described as “new” but we weren’t told how or why it’s new or how it acts differently than other drugs. No context of other research in this field.
It does not appear that the story relied solely on a news release.