(ABC4) – A recent cancer trial yielded very unexpected results — a remission in every single patient.
The trial was relatively small, involving 18 rectal cancer patients who each took the same drug, but yielded surprising results when all traces of cancer vanished in every single patient.
The trial and results were published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The medication, dostarlimab, is an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody. Without the medication, T cells within the body recognize cancer cells, but are inactive and do not attack. With the added medication, T cells will become active within the body and attack cancer cells.
The medication was administered every three weeks for six months. After the treatment, the patients’ had “no evidence of tumor on magnetic resonance imaging.” The patients no longer needed to continue treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
More research is still needed to confirm if dostarlimab could equate to an all-out cure for rectal cancer. The study was also costly — around $11,000 for each dose per patient.
Overall though, the experience remained life-changing for the patients who underwent the trial and will likely open doors to more effective treatment options for cancer patients in the future.