Cancer drug's early trial led to every patient's remission

Cancer drug’s early trial led to every patient’s remission

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


  • Early trials involving the drug dostarlimab resulted in all 12 patients going into remission.
  • After taking the drug for six months, all patients saw their rectal cancer disappear.
  • The trial was so successful that the patients didn’t need to undergo the usual, difficult cancer treatments that often lead to permanent complications.

A cancer research team was pleasantly surprised after a cancer drug’s early trials led to remission in all its participants.

The small trial, backed by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, only involved 12 patients. Trial participants were all in the same cancer stage — it was locally advanced in the rectum but haven’t spread yet to other organs.

Patients took dostarlimab every three weeks for six months. Dostarlimab is a checkpoint inhibitor that exposes cancer cells to allow the body’s immune system to fight them.

Afetr the six-month treatment was complete, the researchers found no identifiable cancer in any of the participants. All their scan results were completely clear.

Study co-author Dr. Luis A. Diaz Jr. of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center told The New York Times, “I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer.”

Diaz told Stat News, “What’s really remarkable is this is the first time I know of in solid tumor oncology where we’ve had a 100% complete response, and we’ve completely omitted the normal standard of care.”

The trial participants expected to still go through the usual, difficult treatments for rectal cancer, which includes chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. But these treatments often lead to permanent complications like bowel, urinary and erectile dysfunction, with patients needing colostomy bags.

With the trial working much better than expected, none of the 12 patients needed further treatment.

Study co-author and oncologist Dr. Andrea Cercek of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center told the Times, “There were a lot of happy tears.”

Sascha Roth, one of the trial participants, was told after her treatment that “there is absolutely no cancer.” She has since been cancer-free for two years now. She told the Times that her family “didn’t believe” it when she told them the good news.

In a press release from the hospital, Cercek called the results “incredibly rewarding,” especially when she receives “happy emails” from patients who were overjoyed that they “get to keep all my normal body functions that I feared I might lose to radiation or surgery.”

Other cancer researchers who reviewed the results also found it promising, but suggested a larger-scale trial to test its effect on more patients and to verify if the treatment truly led to remission.

The study was published on Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Source: PEOPLE

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One thought on “Cancer drug’s early trial led to every patient’s remission

  1. I’m so happy to hear of this miraculous breakthrough. I wished it had been a lot sooner. Just hearing there maybe a cure, GOD has given these doctors the wisdom and knowledge to make this even possible- shows HE has heard the prayers of many of us who’ve been sitting watching loved ones suffering. And yes, the unthinkable- death. We are encouraged by this drug are thanking and praising GOD FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF A CURE! A big thank you to those who worked tirelessly on this “potential cure”

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