For the last few days, Dostarlimab has been featured prominently in every discussion across the medical community on a global scale. For the first time in history, the effectiveness of a womb cancer drug undergoing a clinical trial has left the medical community and its patients speechless.
Developed by the British company GlaxoSmithKline, a group of 18 rectal cancer patients experienced a miracle as their cancer vanished after an experimental treatment conducted over six months at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, USA.
According to a popular newspaper, everyone who took a drug called Dostarlimab saw their tumours disappear during the course of the clinical trial. Reports suggest that the cancer is undetectable on physical examination, endoscopy, positron emission tomography (PET) scans and even magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Medical experts reveal that this drug, with laboratory-produced molecules, acts as substitute antibodies in the human body.
What is rectal cancer?
As this miraculous drug was administered to patients battling rectal cancer, it is imperative for individuals to be aware of this illness.
The rectum comprises the last few inches of the large intestine. This is where rectal cancer starts – at the colon's last segment – and ceases when it reaches the anus' narrow passage.
As you are aware, the cancer of the rectum is known as rectal cancer, and the cancer of the colon is known as colon cancer. It is referred to as colorectal cancer when they occur together. These kinds of cancers are called ‘mismatch repair-deficient' cancers.
The Dostarlimab drug and its findings
According to the research published in various medical journals, Dostarlimab was administered to treat a specific form of Stage II or III rectal cancer. The cancer had not spread to other organs, but it was locally advanced in the rectum. Dostarlimab is a monoclonal antibody that was given to patients in the clinical trial every three weeks for six months.
Experts from the medical field have hailed this clinical trial and research as a world-first. They also highlighted that it is impressive as not all of the cancer warriors suffered significant complications from the trial drug, Dostarmilab.
Although the sample size of the trial was restricted, experts believe that Dostarlimab is a potential cure for one of the deadliest common cancers – rectal cancer.
As you are aware, monoclonal antibodies are made from identical immune cells that are all clones of a single parent cell, whereas polyclonal antibodies are made from a range of immune cells.
With the help of immunotherapy alone, individuals were completely cured of a kind of rectal cancer known as ‘mismatch repair-deficient' cancer. It is interesting to note that the miraculous recovery of patients was without the use of chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.
Immunotherapy was completed for all patients in the experimental trial, and they were monitored closely for 6–25 months. During the follow-up study, there were no incidences of progression or recurrence in any of the patients. According to the study, all the 18 patients from the group were cancer-free.
Studies show that the response period in patients was speedy, with 81% of patients seeing symptom relief as early as nine weeks after commencing the trial.
The next phase of the research was surgery. All 18 patients in the clinical trial had to undergo surgery. After the surgery, the group was startled to learn that no more therapies were required as there was no progression or recurrence of the tumours. All members of this experimental procedure were in remission.
How it works: The mechanism behind the novel treatment
As you are aware, colorectal, gastric and endometrial cancers are the most common ‘mismatch repair-deficient’ cancers. Patients suffering from this ailment lack the necessary genes to repair the spontaneous inaccuracies in DNA that arise as cells replicate.
Belonging to a class of drugs known as PD1 blockers, immunotherapy is preferred over chemotherapy and radiation for treating certain malignancies.
For the uninitiated, PD1 is a protein that controls immune system processes, including suppressing T-cell activity. This blockage treatment aims to free the T-cell from this repression and ensure that the patient is healthy.
'Miraculous’ but expensive treatment
As studies and research show, Dostarlimab is a miracle drug that can cure a type of rectal cancer. However, the immunotherapy treatment can cost up to Rs 77 lakhs for nine doses of Dostarmilab. This cannot be afforded by patients needing the treatment for six months to 1 year. Therefore, the cost of the treatment is a major hurdle for cancer warriors who may need to undergo the same.
Scientists and medical professionals have maintained that the treatment looks promising; however, a global-scale trial is needed to see if this treatment works for more patients from different countries and if the rectal cancers are truly in remission.
If you still have any queries about dostarlimab, we suggest you to take an appointment at the best cancer hospital in Bangalore as it is renowned for top cancer specialist & treatment methods