Colorectal cancer could be defeated, study shows promise

These are convincing results that could well revolutionize the way of treating colorectal cancer. As reported in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine , American scientists have managed to develop a treatment for rectal cancer that has proven to be more than effective in clinical trials. After several months of follow-up, the twelve patients treated with dostarlimab, a monoclonal antibody, saw their tumor disappear.

“This is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer,” said Dr. Luis A. Diaz Jr., co-author of the study practicing at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Concretely, the therapy used by the experts makes it possible to unmask the cancerous cells with the aim that the immune system of the patients can identify and destroy them, explains the New York Times .

If she did not participate in this revolutionary study, Dr. Hanna Sanoff of the University of North Carolina does not fail to welcome the results. “These drugs don’t work by directly attacking the cancer itself, but instead getting a person’s immune system to do most of the work,” she told the journal.

In their study, the American researchers focused exclusively on a particular type of rectal cancer: that with a genetic mutation called MMrD (mismatch repair deficiency). In this specific case, the mutations are in certain genes that are involved in correcting errors made when copying DNA in a cell and can subsequently lead to cancer risks. To undermine this prospect, the scientists therefore gave patients dostarlimab once every three weeks for six months to obtain unequivocal results.

The twelve patients who participated in this experiment “had a complete clinical response, with no sign of tumor”, deciphers the New England Journal of Medicine. During the entire follow-up, “no case of progression or recurrence was reported”, also underlines the study. In addition, none of the patients followed needed subsequent radiochemotherapy or surgery. This study is a real medical breakthrough concerning colorectal cancer, which is the third most common type of cancer in men and the second in women.

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