Groundbreaking cancer drug trial ‘cures’ every participant

Jun 12, 2022
After "a total of 12 patients completed treatment with Dostarlimb" all patients had gone into remission with no traces of cancer detected. Source: Getty

A new cancer drug trial conducted at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York has delivered promising results after every patient in the study was cured.

The trialled drug, a monoclonal antibody drug known as Dostarlimb, is predominantly prescribed to UK patients suffering from endometrial cancer and has reportedly achieved hopeful outcomes for the future of colorectal (commonly known as bowel cancer) cancer.

The official study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that after “a total of 12 patients completed treatment with Dostarlimb” all patients had gone into remission with no traces of cancer detected.

Medical oncologist and study co-author of the paper, Dr Luis Diaz revealed the trial had received a largely positive outcome and that the results spoke for themselves.

“At the time of this report, no patients had received chemoradiotherapy or undergone surgery, and no cases of progression or recurrence had been reported during follow-up,” Diaz revealed.

“The results enabled us to omit both chemoradiotherapy and surgery and to proceed with observation alone.

Diaz said the results were particularly promising for those patients wanting to have children, given chemoradiotherapy was not an option in these cases.

“The implications for quality of life are substantial, especially among patients in whom standard treatment would affect childbearing potential,” she said.

Medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and fellow co-author of the paper, Dr Andrea Cercek, admitted “there were a lot of happy tears” following the results.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to get these happy tears and happy emails from the patients in this study who finish treatment and realize, ‘Oh my God, I get to keep all my normal body functions that I feared I might lose to radiation or surgery’,” she said.

Diaz encouraged patients diagnosed with rectal cancer to come forward to get tested.

“Our message is: Get tested if you have rectal cancer to see if the tumour is MMRd (Mismatch Repair Deficiency),” Diaz said.

“No matter what stage the cancer is, we have a trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering that may help you. And MSK has special expertise that really matters,” Diaz said.

According to the Cancer Council, each year, about 15,500 Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer and although it is most common in people over 50, it can develop at any age. Bowel cancer claims the lives of 5,255 people a year.

Bowel cancer typically develops in the inner lining of the bowel and usually begins with growths called polyps, which may become cancerous if left undetected. While the risk of developing bowel cancer increases significantly with age, if detected in its early stages it has a greater chance of being treated successfully.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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