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Doctors left shocked after cancer 'disappears' for EVERY patient in dr

3 months ago

'It is the first time this has happened': Doctors left shocked after cancer 'disappears' for EVERY patient in drug trial - raising hopes the treatment is 'tip of the iceberg' and can be used to help people fighting other forms of the disease

A new colorectal cancer drug has shocked researchers with how effective it is against the highly dangerous disease, as it virtually cured it in every member of a clinical trial.

Dostarlimab, a monoclonal antibody drug, smashed expectations in a recent trial run by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, sponsored by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

A year after the trial's completion, each of the 18 participants had their disease go into complete remission, with doctors unable to find signs of the cancer in their body.

'I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer,' said Dr Luis Diaz, one of the lead authors of the paper and an oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

While the trial was small, it is considered game-changing, and sets up the drug as a potential cure for one of the most dangerous common cancers known.

'We are investigating if this same method may help other cancers where the treatments are often life-altering and tumors can be MMRd,' he said.

'We are currently enrolling patients with gastric (stomach), prostate, and pancreatic cancers.'

The treatment applies to those with tumors with a specific genetic makeup known as mismatch repair-deficient (MMRd) or microsatellite instability (MSI).

Between five and 10 percent of all rectal cancer patients are thought to have MMRd tumors, including all the patients in the clinical trial.

'Our message is: Get tested if you have rectal cancer to see if the tumor is MMRd,' said Diaz.

'No matter what stage the cancer is, we have a trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering that may help you.

The drug effectively 'unmasks' hiding cancer cells, which then allows the immune system to identify and destroy them.

Researchers followed up with the patients 12 months later, and the cancer had seemingly vanished from their bodies, with the medical staff unable to find signs of tumors with any of the available screening methods.

'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,' researchers wrote in the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

'There were a lot of happy tears,' said Dr Andrea Cercek, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a co-author of the paper, which was presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Furthermore, no more treatments were required.

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