Waves in the medical world: The first time this has happened in the history of cancer

Something of a miracle: cancer Drug Makes Rectal Tumors Disappear with 100% Success in a medical breakthrough.

In a surprising result for an ongoing medical trial. Twelve rectal cancer patients were given the same drug for six months. As a result of the treatment, cancer was utterly obliterated in every patient.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). In a breakthrough clinical trial conducted at the MSK Cancer Center in New York City, 18 patients took Dostarlimab (Drug) for around six months. In the end, every one of them saw their tumors disappear.

Eighteen rectal cancer patients were given the same drug. As a result of the treatment, cancer was obliterated in every patient - undetectable by physical exam, endoscopy, positron emission tomography, PET scans, or MRI scans.

As per New York Times, the patients involved in the clinical trial faced grueling previous treatments to obliterate their cancer, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and invasive surgery that could result in bowel, urinary, and even sexual dysfunction. The 18 patients went into the trial expecting to go through these as the next step. Surprisingly, no further treatment is needed. AND it was awe-inspiring as not all patients suffered significant complications from the trial drug.

In simple words, the initial purpose was to determine whether the study drug, TSR-042 (commonly called dostarlimab), followed by standard chemoradiotherapy and routine surgery, is an effective treatment for advanced deficient Mismatch Repair (dMMR) solid tumors.

For the trial, patients took Dostarlimab every three weeks for six months. They were all in similar stages of their cancer - it was locally advanced in the rectum but had not spread to other organs.

All participants in the trial had a "mismatch repair-deficient" rectal cancer. This condition emerges when the cell's ability to prevent any mutations while copying DNA, hence the name 'mismatch repair' (MMR), is crippled.

Participants in the trial with mismatch repair-deficient stage II or III rectal adenocarcinoma were given the drug every three weeks for six months. According to the initial plan, treatment was followed by standard chemotherapy and surgery, and patients who had a complete clinical response would proceed without both. After at least six months of follow-up, all 12 patients showed a complete clinical response with no signs of the tumor.

The Simon and Eve Colin Foundation supported the medical trial, GlaxoSmithKline, Stand Up to Cancer, Swim Across America, and the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Key Observations

  • 100% clinical COMPLETE response in the first 14 consecutive patients.
  • No grade 3 or 4 adverse events were observed.
  • No patients have required chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
  • No disease recurrence was observed during the follow-up period.
  • A longer follow-up is required.

The treatment looks promising, but a comprehensive trial helps see if it will work for more patients and if the cancers are genuinely in remission, says Dr. Kankati Srinivasa Rao , Senior Consultant Radiation Oncologist.


Authored by Dr K Srinivas Rao - Best Radiation Oncologist in Nallagandla, Hyderabad


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