A small group of people with rectal cancer just experienced something of a miracle as their cancer simply vanished after an experimental treatment. According to New York Times, in a very small clinical trial, 18 patients took a drug called Dostarlimab for around six months, and in the end, every one of them saw their tumours disappear.
A recent drug trial resulted in complete elimination of rectal cancer in all 18 patients. Dostarlimab, a lab-produced molecule drug, acts as a substitute antibody in the human body. The cancer was undetectable after treatment using physical exams, endoscopy, PET scans, and MRI scans. Dr. Luis A. Diaz J. of New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center called this a first in the history of cancer.
Separately, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a co-author of the paper, oncologist Dr Andrea Cercek, described the moment patients found out they were cancer-free. “There were a lot of happy tears,” she told the New York Times.
Dostarlimab, a drug that uses laboratory-made molecules to function as substitute antibodies in the human body, was given to 18 patients with rectal cancer. The results of the trial were remarkable, as every patient saw their cancer completely disappear, becoming undetectable by physical exams, endoscopy, positron emission tomography (PET) scans or MRI scans. This is a historical achievement in the field of cancer treatment, according to Dr. Luis A. Diaz J. of New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
For the duration of the trial, the patients received Dostarlimab every three weeks for six months. All patients were in a similar stage of their cancer, meaning that it was locally advanced in the rectum but had not spread to other organs. The researchers who reviewed the drug have stated that the results look promising but that a larger-scale trial is necessary to determine if the treatment is effective for a larger number of patients and if the cancers are indeed in remission.
It is important to note that while the results are encouraging, further research is necessary to determine the long-term effects and efficacy of the drug. However, the results of this trial have given hope to many in the medical community and have shown that there may be a new, potentially life-changing, treatment option for rectal cancer patients in the future.