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Read Original Story

Drug May Delay Pancreatic Cancer Return

Rating

5 Star

Drug May Delay Pancreatic Cancer Return

Our Review Summary

The story describes using an existing chemotherapy drug after surgery to try to delay pancreatic cancer from returning.  The story does a nice job of meeting the criteria, including desribing the type of evidence for the latest findings, reporting absolute benefits (including a discussion of the modest cancer-free survival gains), availability and novelty of the drug, cost information, and use of an independent source (and disclosure of study funding sources). 

And all of this was done in just 688 words.  

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story provides monthly costs of the drug (at least when used to treat inoperable cancer, which may or may not be used the same as for treating cancer after surgery). 

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

Satisfactory

The story provides absolute data, including proportion of participants in the treatment group and control group who had their cancer come back and the timing of when that occured. 

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

Satisfactory

Some harms of treatment are described, such as fatigue and hair thinning.  These are also described as relatively mild, which may be true in comparison to other chemotherapy agents. 

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

Satisfactory

The story describes that some participants were randomized after surgery to receive the study drug, which is a description of a randomized clinical trial.  The story also provides some indicators of the strength of the latest study, such as the number of participants followed, and also mentions this study in connection with a larger study published last year that supports the latest findings. 

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

No obvious disease mongering.  The story describes disease burden and natural history of the cancer. 

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

Satisfactory

An independent source of information was quoted, but the story could have been improved had the expert actually commented on the study findings vs. the disease burden of pancreatic cancer. 

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story describes other treatment options, including surgery, with or without chemotherapy.  Radiation is also mentioned as an option, combined with chemotherapy. 

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

Satisfactory

The story reports that the study drug is currently used to treat inoperable pancreatic cancer and is also a common chemotherapy drug, often used to treat other cancers.  

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story describes that the drug studied has been used to treat inoperable pancreatic cancer as well as some other types of cancer, letting readers know this is not a new drug, but rather, a new application of an existing drug. 

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

Satisfactory

The story provides a quote from a researcher not involved in the study, so it's clear that resources other than a press release were used. 

Total Score: 10 of 10 Satisfactory

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