100% of cancer patients cured long-term in 'remarkable' human trial

100% of cancer patients cured long-term in 'remarkable' human trial
High hopes for the use of dostarlimab-gxly in successfully 'reversing' a type of colorectal cancer, with hopes it will be able to target other forms
High hopes for the use of dostarlimab-gxly in successfully 'reversing' a type of colorectal cancer, with hopes it will be able to target other forms
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High hopes for the use of dostarlimab-gxly in successfully 'reversing' a type of colorectal cancer, with hopes it will be able to target other forms
High hopes for the use of dostarlimab-gxly in successfully 'reversing' a type of colorectal cancer, with hopes it will be able to target other forms

In what researchers have called an "unprecedented" response, a new drug that treats locally advanced rectal cancer has shown to have completely eradicated tumors in all 42 patients who took part in the Phase II trial.

The drug, Jemperli (dostarlimab-gxly), had earlier shown great potential for eliminating mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) cancers, which make up 5-10% of colorectal cancers. Following the Phase II trial, the first 24 patients assessed showed a "sustained complete clinical response" – no cancer evident – after an average of 26.3 months.

"These findings demonstrate the potential of dostarlimab-gxly as a novel approach to treating locally advanced dMMR rectal cancer that leads to durable complete tumor regression without the need for life-altering treatment," said Dr Andrea Cercek, researcher and oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). "As a clinician, I’ve seen firsthand the debilitating impact of standard treatment of dMMR rectal cancer and am thrilled about the potential of dostarlimab-gxly in these patients.”

The drug is a hugely promising first-line treatment option, bypassing the need for chemotherapy and radiation. Right now, while traditional treatment is effective, it's incredibly invasive and impacts long-term quality of life. And ultimately, a third of patients will see their cancer metastasize and become terminal.

Those who do undergo surgery often experience life-long life-changing impacts, including bowel, urinary and sexual dysfunction, as well as secondary cancers and infertility.

“We wanted to see if we could make a tumor with the MMR(d) mutation recede and eventually disappear using only immunotherapy to spare patients these life-altering consequences of standard treatment," Dr Luis Diaz Jr said last year, after preliminary trial research showed how effective this drug was at targeting the cancer.

Unlike chemotherapy, dostarlimab-gxly is a programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1)-blocking monoclonal antibody, which enters the body and binds to the protein PD-1 T cells, encouraging these immune cells to attack cancer cells. While still in its early stages before clinical use, it's already been hyped up as a 'wonder drug' for successful, non-invasive cancer treatment.

Last year, the drug was approved by the FDA as a complementary treatment alongside chemotherapy for endometrial cancer. The pharmaceutical company behind Jemperli, GSK, will now undertake studies on other types of colorectal cancers, hoping for similar impactful results.

“The data showing no evidence of disease in 42 patients is remarkable,” said Hesham Abdullah, GSK Senior Vice President. “These results bring us one step closer to understanding the potential of dostarlimab-gxly in this curative-intent setting for patients with dMMR locally advanced rectal cancer. We look forward to evaluating dostarlimab-gxly in certain colorectal cancers in our ongoing AZUR-1 and AZUR-2 registrational studies.”

In a statement, GSK said patients didn't experience side-effects above grade three, with most experiencing mild or moderate adverse reactions. The company noted that the drug's safety and tolerance is "consistent with the known safety profile of the agent."

The results of the long-term follow-up examinations were presented at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago this week.

Source: GSK

This is a wonderful portent of things to come for people currently suffering from all manner of diseases and healthcare systems worldwide.
The economic benefits of this type of treatment becoming available across the board in the near future will be staggering.
Uncle Anonymous
This is very good news. While forty-two test subjects is a rather small test group, this gives me hope.
c w
42 is, indeed, the answer.
We will look back someday and feel bad for the people who actually had to deal with things like cancer and infections of any kind. Go science!
Dr McCoy would (will?) be proud.
Sadly though, you KNOW "big pharma", if this is approved, will charge enough for the treatment, that you could buy a house in the Hamptons. :(
Hm. Describes me to a tee. Had chemo/radiation and surgery for locally advanced MMR-related stage 3 rectal adenocarcinoma. Surgery found I had complete pathologic response to c/r. Lucky to be alive; 10 yrs so far . . . Treatment seemed easy at the time, save for some issues with chemo (capecitabine). I'd heard that some patients that had similar low anterior resection (removal of a significant portion of rectum) later asked for permanent ileostomy, because the effects on bowel movements can be severe. At first I thought that was a pretty extreme solution, but it does get old . . .

Although I'm out of luck for being able to take advantage of this or related immunologic treatments (unless I recur), I hope that these types of treatments become the norm so that others will be able to avoid the otherwise significantly adverse physical effects possible with the current standard.

That said, I will never lose sight of the fact that the current/someday-old standard still saved my life, and my negatively altered physiology was just part of the bargain.
This is great news. I hope, though, that any adverse reactions to the treatment will be made clear to those to whom this treatment is offerred. No matter what, 42 out of 42 is a fantastic result.
c w - lol

I'm excited for this, Chemo therapy is as dumb as leeches, and it's time in the sun is coming to a close. We are long overdue for a cancer cure.
Thank you for your wonderful write up Bronwyn! This improvement in treatment for a very small segment of colon cancers is a welcome breakthrough. When we look at other mammals & their cancer rates - it would be nice to have an elephant's cancer rate! We need to continue studying the ways nature has addressed cancer management for insights to apply to humans. c-w, yeah, maybe. Rusty? How do you think these pharmaceutical breakthroughs occur? Bill Gates? Peter Thiel? Jeff Bezos? No, there are independent labs, NIH grants, "Big Pharma" subsidies, and university affiliated labs. All seeking the same thing - to improve health outcomes and make a living. Without medical research & the medico-industrial complex, nothing would be coming to market so forgive me for being tone deaf to anyone using the term big pharma as if it were an actual organized entity.
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