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"New drug offers hope in some cancers"

Vancouver Sun

Source: Vancouver Sun

Published: 09 Sep 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (2 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

An injectable liquid that delivers tiny radioactive "smart bombs" directly to cancer cells is showing great promise in treating patients with some types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Canadian doctors say.
The drug, described as a "liquid radiotherapy," caused tumour reduction in 80 per cent of patients whose non-Hodgkin's lymphoma either did not respond to traditional chemotherapy or had recurred, a U.S. clinical trial has shown. Thirty per cent of those patients achieved full remission.
But Dr. Ahmed Galal of McGill University has achieved even better results using Zevalin on 15 patients who had no other treatment options for their cancer.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 3 of 9
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Applicable
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This story describes a new and promising treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is reasonably comprehensive about describing the nature of the illness and currently available treatments. The main drawback to this story is the lack of identification of any possible conflicts-of-interest of the people being interviewed.

This somewhat sensationalistic article describes the use of radio-labelled monoclonal antibody therapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. While the actual drug name (Ibritumomab tiuxetan) is never mentioned and virtual no trial data is provided, the authors refer to an unreferenced recent US clinical that showed beneficial effects of this novel therapy. The authors subsequently focus on the results of a small local study, inferring that the results of this Canadian investigation suggest that the drug is better than the US data may portray. As is common to these articles, an anecdotal case report is used to emphasize a positive experience with the drug. Minimal reference to potential harms, treatment options and conflicts of interest is provided.

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