🎧 The Too-Good-To-Be-True Cancer Cure | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The Too-Good-To-Be-True Cancer Cure from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Despite steadily declining rates of cancer deaths over the past two decades, cancer remains responsible for 1 in every 6 deaths worldwide. It’s a scourge. So when, this week, an Israeli company called Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies captured the news cycle with promises of a complete cure for cancer within the year, the story caught fire.

The company‚Äôs technology is called ‚ÄúMuTaTo‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ that's multi-target toxin. And, to judge from the news media this week, it seems vetted, verified and veering us all toward a cancer-free future. Reports began in the¬†Jerusalem Post, but quickly took off, making their way into various Murdoch-owned publications like¬†FOX¬†and the¬†New York Post¬†and landing in local news outlets around the country and the globe.

A couple days into the fanfare, the skeptics started coming out: for one thing, as oncologist David Gorski points out in his blog ‚ÄúRespectful Insolence,‚ÄĚ the claims are based on experiments with¬†mice: no human trials have yet started. For another, they haven‚Äôt been sufficiently peer reviewed. In fact, the company won‚Äôt share its research,¬†claiming it can‚Äôt afford the expense. The too-good-to-be-true story appears to be just that, built on PR puffery. But who can resist a good cancer cure?

With Mutato in mind, for this week’s podcast extra, we revisit our Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: Health News edition, with Gary Schwitzer, publisher & founder of HealthNewsReview.org.

This is a fantastic piece of reporting relating to improved journalism and media consumption with respect to the frequent health studies seen in the main stream media. For those interested, here’s a link to the original version from 2015.

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