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"New hope for ALS sufferers"

Montreal Gazette

Source: Montreal Gazette

Published: 27 May 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3½ stars)

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

Canadian researchers say it may be possible to slow, maybe treat, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - a fatal neurodegenerative disease known as ALS - by stimulating the body's own stem cells.

A team led by neurologist Neil Cashman at the University of British Columbia announced yesterday it has found a "safe pathway" for activating bone-marrow stem cells in ALS patients...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 7 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)

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

This article paid good attention to the preliminary nature of using G-CSF as a "treatment" for ALS sufferers. The story repeatedly notes that the research has no insights into the therapeutic benefits of the treatment and is careful to acknowledge the small sample size of the study.

While the story indicates that there is no known cure for ALS, it makes no mention of approved treatments for this disease- treatments that tend to be focused on providing relief and improved quality of life. Instead, the article only mentions two treatments that are undergoing preliminary testing - the first, and the focus of this story, is Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (G-CSF); the second is lithium.

The article does suggest that Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) is available in British Columbia, however, it does not include information on how much this treatment costs when used according to its label.

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