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"U.S. approves new drug for aggressive breast cancer"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 13 Mar 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (2½ stars)

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

There is a new option for women in the U.S. with advanced breast cancer that has not responded to other treatments.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved GlaxoSmithKline's new drug, Tykerb or lapatinib, to treat metastatic breast cancer tumours....

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 9
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Applicable
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment 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)

The problem with this story is that while the benefits are reported, the average reader is not going to know what they mean. The article said: "Time to tumour worsening was significantly better in those receiving Tykerb and Xeloda compared to Xeloda alone, the FDA said.? and that "The tumour response rate was also higher for those receiving both drugs, 24 per cent, compared with the older drug alone, at 14 per cent." What is tumour response rate? And is this 10% improvement meaningful in any way to the quality or length of the patient's life? As well, while there were harms of the treatment noted, at what rate did those occur? And also, the treatment is for women who don't respond to other treatments, but it would have been useful to know what those other treatments were. Herceptin for example?

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