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"New radioactive patch appears to zap skin cancer"


Source: CTV.CA

Published: 18 Jun 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (2 stars)

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

A radioactive skin patch just might become a safe and effective way to treat a form of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma, researchers at the Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting report.

The small study found that the skin patch does not leave scarring, as current therapies can, and appears to non-toxic, reports the lead author the study, Priyanka Gupta, a nuclear medicine technologist at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 10
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information 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)

Reporting on preliminary findings such as this new radioactive patch can be difficult. In some cases, specific information on the drug (i.e. side effects) is not available and thus it is easy to exaggerate what is known- usually the treatment benefits.

Although the study was small and little comparative information was provided to the readers, the results of this preliminary trial do seem promising. The article is clear in stating that the study authors hope this patch will eventually serve as an alternative to surgery.

However, the article did over-emphasize the benefits of the patch-based treatment. The article states that "three months after treatment, biopsies of the cancer sites revealed no residual cancer." This statement implies a 100% success rate. Given the small size of the study, statements like these potentially exaggerate the benefits of this treatment when it is applied to larger scale population groups. Furthermore, while the article indicates that patients reported few side effects, there was no discussion of how serious these side effects were and how often the occurred in the study group.

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