A new drug that’s being tested for colorectal cancer returned with a 100% success rate, as the cancer vanished for all patients in the drug trial.

Cancer has taken away many family members and loved ones and sadly it continues to do so, even today. While treatments like chemotherapy and radiation are available, the results vary depending on the type and stage of cancer, the patient’s general health, and his or her preferences for said treatment. And even in remission, the patient is still regularly monitored in the event that the cancer manifests itself once again.

For many years, studies and tests are regularly being conducted in the hopes of finding a cure for cancer. And among those drugs being tested, one showed extreme promise: Dostarlimab.

Why? It returned a 100% success rate—meaning, all traces of the disease vanished from the patients in the drug trial.

What is Dostarlimab?

Dostarlimab is the latest cancer drug-making wave in the world of oncology. A new drug that’s being tested for colorectal cancer, Dostarlimab is made with laboratory-produced molecules that act as substitute antibodies in the human body.

Colorectal cancer, more commonly known as bowel cancer, affects 100,000 Australians yearly, according to Cancer Australia. For the test, 18 rectal cancer patients—who faced grueling previous treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and invasive surgery that could result in bowel, urinary, and even sexual dysfunction—were given the drug.

One year after the drug trial, researchers were stunned to see that all participants were considered in remission—meaning, no traces of the cancer were found in their bodies even after doctors conducted physical exams, endoscopies, PET scans, and MRI scans.

Credit: Stocktrek Images, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo. Phanie / Alamy Stock Photo.
A bowel scope screening test. Credit: David Gee 4 / Alamy Stock Photo

A Breakthrough in Medicine

According to Dr. Luis A. Diaz Jr. of New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, this was “the first time this has happened in the history of cancer.” Likewise, these findings are making waves in the medical world—with Dr. Alan P. Venook telling the New York Times that complete remission in every single patient is “unheard of”.

Dr. Diaz and a team of researchers published a paper on their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine, which Dr. Venook, a colorectal cancer specialist at the University of California, hailed as world-first research. He also noted that it was impressive how none of the patients suffered significant complications from the trial drug.

Dr. Andrea Cercek—an oncologist from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and co-author of the paper—described the moment patients found out they were cancer-free. “There were a lot of happy tears,” she shared with the New York Times.

Last May, a team of US doctors unveiled their own groundbreaking research, which brings society closer to finding a cure. The drug—called Vaxinia—was successful in animal tests, so scientists and medical researchers have high hopes for the outcome when injected into humans. And so far, the Oncolytic virus has been found to shrink colon, lung, breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer tumors in animal trials.

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