by: Dr. Mary Gillis, D.Ed.
Posted: / Updated:
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – In a first-of-its-kind clinical investigation, a drug used to treat endometrial cancer was 100% effective in treating rectal cancer.
The drug is called dostarlimab and is classified as an monoclonal antibody immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight a disease.
Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York recruited 12 patients. All had either stage 2 or stage 3 rectal cancer. Dostarlimab was administered intravenously every three weeks for six months. After six months of treatment, all patients’ cancerous tumors disappeared.
“The most exciting part of this is that every single one of our patients has only needed immunotherapy. We haven’t radiated anybody, and we haven’t put anybody through surgery. They preserved their normal bowel function, bladder function, sexual function and fertility. Women have their uterus and ovaries. It’s remarkable,” oncologist and study co-author Dr. Andrea Cercek said in a news release.
The study is ongoing.