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.
- Electronic media
- Novel agents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health