There has been increased direct-to-consumer advertising for Cyberknife (CK), a brand of stereotactic radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Evidence comparing CyberKnife with other prostate cancer therapies is limited. Columbia University Medical Center physicians hypothesized that those viewing CyberKnife advertisements would have inaccurate impressions regarding its effectiveness and safety. In this study, they evaluated impressions of CyberKnife among laypersons exposed to actual advertisements versus factual information/controls. Respondents were more likely to consider CyberKnife superior to other prostate cancer treatments.
Columbia University Medical Center physicians concluded that advertisements regarding CyberKnife are misleading and impact laypersons’ impressions regarding effectiveness and safety. Direct-to-consumer advertising for cancer care is problematic, and relies on the advertiser and surrounding community to ensure accuracy and transparency. To learn more about the details of the study, read it here.