Scientists and researchers are heralding a new drug as a potential breakthrough in the fight against cancer following the publication of trial results in Australia.
The drug, known as Dostarlimab, returned a 100% clearance rate on 18 patients suffering from rectal cancer, one of the more common cancers in western society.
At the time the paper was written, 12 patients had completed treatment. It reads:
“A total of 12 patients have completed treatment with dostarlimab and have undergone at least 6 months of follow-up. All 12 patients (100%; 95% confidence interval, 74 to 100) had a clinical complete response, with no evidence of tumour on magnetic resonance imaging.”
In all 18 patients after 2 years, not a single trace of cancer could be found, a result so astonishing that Dr Luis A. Diaz Jr. of New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre said that it is:
“The first time this has happened in the history of cancer.”
Dr. Diaz, who ran the study published the findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dostarlimab is from a new branch of drugs that involve laboratory created molecules that act as antibodies in the human body which are designed to specifically target cancer-cells.
Dr Alan P. Venook, who was not involved in the project, told the New York Times that a cancer trial in which every single patient was cured was ‘unheard of’.
While this was a small trial, the treatment will now likely be offered on a wider scale, meaning that firmer results can be found. At present, about 100,000 Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year.
Scientists also hope that this new approach to cancer, which appears to have fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy, can be engineered to fight other types of cancers.
Recently, the first-ever human trials involving a genetically modified virus designed to fight cancer cells began, while immunotherapy approaches have also been met with great promise, indicating that we may be on our way to eventually defeating one of the world’s biggest killers.
[Based on reporting by: Ladbible]