In a medical trial conducted in the Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer centre, 18 patients who were suffering from rectal cancer were given the Dostarlimab drug for six months where during the end of the trial all the 18 patient’s cancer had been completely cured.
The cancer was present only in the rectum and hadn’t spread to other organs at the start of the trial. During the trial, they were actively taking dosages of the drug whilst avoiding other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and invasive surgery.
The drug alone made it possible for the patients to break free from cancer without any notable side effects which usually occur during the time of other treatments. It is to be noted that this is the first time in history that a cure is present that can completely make cancer disappear.
Dr Luis A.diaz, a doctor from the Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer centre claimed that this was the first time something like this became possible in the history of cancer. She said, “the first time this has happened in the history of cancer”. While other doctors also claim it to be a medical marvel that this became possible. It is to make sure that further research should be conducted on a larger scale to get accurate data on how this works and what other types of cancer it can cure.
According to the New York Times, the patients went through many procedures before agreeing to the trial. During the trial, the drug was properly given to the patients during the time of six months. The doctors said that the patients thought that in the end, they would be going to another trial but when they heard of the news that no more treatment was required, there were lots of happy tears.
Nearly 12 out of the 18 patients required no further study as the trace of cancer completely vanished.
The history of the company that made this possible
The drug was manufactured by a small-scale biotechnology company Tesaro which is owned by GlaxoSmithKline, it is based in Massachusetts. GlaxoSmithKline is also the company that funded this trial. At the beginning of 2019, GlaxoSmithKline acquired Tesaro and the Dostarlimab drug was sold under the name of Jemparlie, it was first prescribed for women with endometrial cancer and later was given to patients with the MMD (mismatch repair deficiency.)
Nine dosages of the drug need to be taken for six months. Where the total dosage cost comes to around 77 lakhs.
How does the cure work?
Our body usually creates damaged cells which have the potential to become cancer cells, these types of cells have damaged DNA thus causing an anomaly in the cells. Our immune system detects these cells and destroys them to prevent any threats. The cure helps the immune system to find the cancer cells and to destroy them.
In precise explanation, the checkpoints which are made up of t-cells and cancer cells get blocked by this drug as the checkpoints are the reason that our immune system can’t kill the cancer cells within our body, thus this drug blocking the checkpoints makes our immune system possibly eradicate the cells.
However, this drug comes with its restrictions as this drug was tested to only cure certain types of cancer. The drug can cure only cancers which have a genetic property of mismatch repair deficiency.
The mismatch repair deficiency is when the cells have a mutation in certain genes which are involved in the correction of the mistakes made during the copy of the DNA. This can be found in cancers such as breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and prostate and bladder cancer.
At the moment, the limitations of this drug are lower but the hope is high knowing that a cancer cure is found for the first time which eradicates the tumour.
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