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"Drug fights breast cancer spread: doctors"


Source: CTV.CA

Published: 31 May 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3½ stars)

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

A drug to prevent bone loss during breast cancer treatment also substantially cut the risk that the cancer would return, results that left doctors excited about a possible new way to fight the disease.

It is the first large study to affirm wider anti-cancer hopes for Zometa and other bone-building drugs called bisphosphonates. Zometa, made by Novartis AG, is used now for cancers that have already spread to the bone...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 7 of 10
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options 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 story included some good elements - a good description of the methodology, as well as good descriptions of the benefits (in both relative and absolute terms) and the risks associated with the drug Zometa.

Having said that, this story repeats a common failure in Canadian media - it appears that the story was picked up from an American news source and then reported in Canada without the addition of Canadian content. Treatment availability and cost were addressed in the article, however, this information seemed to describe the treatment details specific to the United States.

The article successfully described the sources of information and included adequate details about the ties between the principle investigator and the companies funding the trial. However, the potential conflicts of interest for remaining three physicians quoted in the report were not disclosed or discussed.

Since this basis of the story was a meeting report as opposed to a published, peer-reviewed article, more details are required to make a definitive judgement about the usefulness of this drug in treating breast cancer.

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