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"Canadian-born doctor's vaccine fights brain cancer"


Source: CTV.CA

Published: 04 May 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (1½ stars)

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

It's a type of aggressive and incurable brain cancer that strikes about 20,000 people a year, but a Canadian-born scientist is working on a vaccine - and the early results are promising.

The cancer is called glioblastoma multiforme and few patients survive more than a year after its diagnosis. But Dr. John Sampson's vaccine is helping people survive for three to six years, unheard of results for this type of cancer....

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The original article can found in the Media Doctor archives.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 3 of 10
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
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)

While this article is clear in stating that the results are based on preliminary findings, it excludes necessary information for individuals wishing to assess this new treatment option. For example, the article reads, "it has now been four years since DeGrand's tumour was removed, and the cancer has not returned." While statements like these emphasize the benefits of the treatment, they do not identify or explain the probability of reoccurrence without the vaccine-centered treatment. The article indicates that 50 patients have seen positive results from the treatment but neglects to report if there were any patients that saw little or no effects after the vaccine. This results in an incomplete (and possibly inaccurate) reflection of the vaccine success rate. Furthermore, even though the article mentions there are 'no side effects', the patient in the story reported swelling in the injection area. Finally, a failure to include information regarding where the treatment is available and what it costs presents further gaps in the reporting of this new cancer treatment option.

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