A test tube with a pink syringe.

“I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer.”

Dr. Luis Diaz Jr., lead researcher on a cutting-edge cancer drug that eliminated the disease (for now) in participants in a recent study.

Published on

jun 7, 2022

  • Why It Matters: A new cancer drug shows promise. This would be significant since cancer is the second-leading cause of death for Americans.
  • The study: Examined the effects of a new drug in at least a dozen (and counting) rectal cancer patients at leading New York hospital Memorial Sloan Kettering.
  • The drug: "Dostarlimab" was administered every 3 weeks for 6 months; at a *minimum* 6-month follow-up, none of the patients had any evidence of cancer. Side effects? Researchers reported no "clinically significant complications."
  • How Does It Work: "It unmasks cancer cells, allowing the immune system to identify and destroy them" (The New York Times).
  • Limitations: The study is very small and follow-up is limited. These patients were at a relatively early stage in cancer progression; their cancer was serious, but had not spread to other organs.
  • Bottom line: Too early to call it a "cure," but it is research to watch.

Every cancer patient enters remission after drug trial, study reveals

PD-1 Blockade in Mismatch Repair–Deficient, Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer

A Cancer Trial’s Unexpected Result: Remission in Every Patient

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