A tiny number of persons with rectal cancer recently witnessed a miracle when their cancer disappeared following experimental therapy. According to the New York Times, in a tiny clinical trial, 18 patients took a medicine called Dostarlimab for around six months and saw their tumors shrink at the end.
Dostarlimab is a drug that contains laboratory-created molecules that behave as replacement antibodies in the human body. All 18 rectal cancer patients were given the same medicine, and as a result of the treatment, cancer was fully eradicated in every patient – undetected by physical exam, endoscopy, positron emission tomography or PET scans, or MRI scans. According to Dr. Luis A. Diaz J. of New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, this is ‘the first time this has happened in the history of cancer’.
According to the New York Times, the patients in the clinical research had previously endured arduous therapies to eradicate their cancer, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and invasive surgery. These therapies might result in bowel, urinary, and even sexual problems. The 18 patients entered the experiment anticipating being subjected to these procedures in the following step. However, to their amazement, no more therapy was required.
The discoveries are already generating headlines in the medical community. Dr. Alan P. Venook, a colon cancer expert at the University of California, told the media source that full remission in every single patient is ‘unheard of’. He referred to the study as a global first. He also stated that it was especially noteworthy given that not all of the patients experienced serious side effects from the experimental medicine.
Separately, oncologist Dr Andrea Cercek of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a co-author of the research recalled the moment patients found out they were cancer-free. ‘There were a lot of happy tears,’ she told the New York Times. Patients in the experiment were given Dostarlimab every three weeks for six months. They were all in comparable stages of cancer; it was locally progressing in the rectum but had not disseminated to other organs. The cancer researchers who studied the medicine told the media outlet that the treatment is promising, but that a larger-scale experiment is needed to determine whether it will work for more people and if the malignancies are actually in remission.