All patients treated for rectal cancer with an experimental immunotherapy drug were in remission, which the researchers welcomed as a landmark discovery.
All 14 patients who received the new drug dostarimab were found to have no signs of cancer after 6 months. Researchers at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York couldn’t find any signs of the disease through physical examination, endoscopy, MRI, or other scans.
The researchers described the results, New England Journal of Medicine“A groundbreaking discovery,” they said, was surprised by the universal success rate. “I think this is the first time in the history of cancer,” said team lead member Dr Luis Diaz. New York Times.
For the patients involved and potentially for certain types of rectal cancer, the results were dramatic. It allowed them to avoid additional surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, which are conducted only by observation.
This can have far-reaching effects, especially in young adults.
Another lead researcher, Dr. Andrea Cercek, said: “Surgery and radiation have lasting effects on fertility, sexual health, bowel and bladder function, and the impact on quality of life is significant, especially when standard treatment affects fertility. Yes,” he said. “With the increasing incidence of rectal cancer in young adults, this approach could have significant implications.”
Dostarlimab was developed by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. This drug was given to patients every 3 to 6 months at a cost of $11,000 per dose.
This drug is known as a checkpoint inhibitor. It works by removing the barrier that prevents cancer cells from attacking T cells in the body’s immune system.
Without a shield, cancer cells are exposed to the immune system and are prone to destruction.
This finding belongs to one of the most promising areas of frontier experimental cancer research, which combines personalized medicine with immunotherapy. The goal is to train the immune system to destroy cancer cells by helping individual patients detect specific mutations in the genetic makeup of their own tumors.
Sloan Kettering researchers designed the clinical trial to apply to a specific subgroup of patients with kidney cancer. All 14 patients had a rare mutation in the tumor cells known as “mismatch repair deficiency,” meaning the cell’s DNA repair system does not work.
As a result, cancer cells produce proteins that are more genetically erroneous, making them more visible to the body’s immune system when the shield is removed.
Scientists involved in the dostarimab trial are struggling not to present the findings as a cure. People will undergo a close medical evaluation to determine how long they have been cancer-free.
But they are optimistic about these first results. Diaz says the new treatment will be a “real change” for people with a related type of rectal cancer.
Rectal Cancer: Researchers welcome ‘innovative’ experimental treatment | cancer research
Source link Rectal Cancer: Researchers welcome ‘innovative’ experimental treatment | cancer research