An experimental drug trial that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine has revealed that all 18 rectal cancer patients that have participated in the study have went into remission after only six months of therapy.
While the study was limited, it is considered revolutionary, and establishes the drug as a potential cure for one of the world’s most deadly common cancers.
The doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering, according to the Journal, are behind the study. The drug maker GlaxoSmithKline funded the research.
What are the details?
According to the research, 18 cancer patients who received dostarlimab every three weeks for six months in the experimental immunotherapy treatment have ended up in remission at the end of the study.
“We began a prospective phase 2 research study in which a single-agent dostarlimab, which is an anti–PD-1 monoclonal antibody treatment, was given every three weeks for up to six months in persons with mismatch repair deficient stages II or III rectal adenocarcinoma. This therapy was to be followed by the standard surgery and chemoradiotherapy.”
Following the six-month regimen, all 18 individuals in the study have showed a “clinically significant response with zero evidence of a tumor on the magnetic resonance imaging,” according to the analysis.
According to the new findings, at present, no patients have received chemotherapy or had to have surgery, and zero cases of recurrence or progression have been reported during their follow-up visits. “There have been no Grade 3 or higher adverse side effects that have been reported,” the study stated in its conclusions.
According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Luis A. Diaz Jr., the findings are “the first time this has ever happened in the history of cancer.” According to Dr. Andrea Cercek, one of the study’s authors, the findings prompted “a lot of joyful tears.” The findings were described as “unprecedented” and “remarkable” by Dr. Kimmie Ng of Harvard Medical School, who called them “fantastic.” “It is just unheard of,” said Dr. Alan P. Venook, a physician who was not involved with the research.
The medicine will cost around $11,000 per dose, according to the Times’ report.