Consumer beware: A systematic assessment of potential bias in the lay electronic media to examine the portrayal of "PARP" inhibitors for cancer treatment

Shawnta Coleman, Prema P. Peethambaram, Aminah Jatoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined how the lay electronic media covers poly-ADP-ribose polymerase, or "PARP," inhibitors, a class of cancer agents currently under clinical investigation. Of 771 internet links, 51 targeted the lay public. Independent review by two investigators yielded the following categorizations: 36 (71%) were "overly positive", 15 (29%) "neutral", and none "overly negative". "Overly positive" articles used: (l) overstated benefit, (2) included quotations from enthusiastic scientists, and (3) discussed single or small patient subsets. They used such phrases as "the holy grail of cancer research", "the most exciting development in cancer research in a decade or more⋯. it could save thousands of lives", and "we were surprised and delighted⋯. it's the kind of thing you don't really think will happen". Healthcare providers should be aware of the foregoing when discussing PARP inhibitors-and perhaps other novel therapies-with cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-477
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Electronic media
  • Novel agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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