Is Cancer 100% Curable? New Study Gets Staggering Results

The study was small, and some experts say it needs to be replicated. For 18 people diagnosed with rectal cancer, the outcome was happy tears.

In a small trial done by doctors at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, patients took a drug called dostarlimab for six months.

The trial resulted in the disappearance of every single tumor from their bodies. The trial group included only 18 people, and more information is needed about how the treatment worked.

But some scientists say these kinds of results have never been seen in the history of cancer research. Dr. Hanna Sanoff from the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center joined NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss how this drug works and what it could mean for the future of cancer research. Although she was not involved in the study, Dr. Sanoff has written about the findings:

Function of Dostarlimab:

This drug is one of a class of drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors. These are immunotherapy medicines that work not by directly attacking the cancer itself, but actually getting a person’s immune system to essentially do the work. These are drugs that have been around in melanoma and other cancers for quite a while, but really have not been part of the routine care of colorectal cancers until fairly recently.

A Revolutionary Road To Cure:

With rectal cancer, this is part of the conversation we have with someone when they are diagnosed. We are hopeful that we can cure you, but unfortunately, we know our treatments will have consequences that may be life-changing. I have had patients who, after their rectal cancer, have barely left their house for years – and in a couple of cases, even decades – because of the consequences of incontinence and the shame that comes with this.

Next Steps For The Drug:

What I’d really like us to do is get a bigger trial where this drug is used in a much more diverse setting to understand what the real, true response rate is going to be. It’s not going to end up being 100 percent. I hope I bite my tongue on that in the future, but I can’t imagine it will be 100 percent. And so when we see what the true response rate is, that’s when I think we can really do this all the time.