Smiley Movement logo

Small US cancer study shows 100% remission

Words by Smiley Team

One of the leading causes of death in the US and around the world is cancer. In the US alone, more than 600,000 people died of cancer in 2020. 

Without outright cures for the disease, people rely on invasive surgery, chemotherapy, and other radiation treatments. But the results of a recent trial may offer some hope for the future of treatment. 

A new paper, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, highlights a small clinical study of 12 different rectal cancer patients. The study ended with all 12 in remission.

"I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer," paper co-author Luis A. Diaz Jr. of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center told the New York Times.

[Sign up here to receive a weekly dose of positive news in your inbox]

In the study, patients took a drug called dostarlimab every three weeks for six months. Dostarlimab is known as a programmed cell death-1 or PD-1 inhibitor and was designed to target specific cells in advanced rectal cancer. 

In follow-ups, cancer had disappeared on MRI scans, PET scans, biopsies, endoscopic tests, and physical exams.

The patients had no other treatments related to rectal cancer and had no “clinically significant” complications.

“It's incredibly rewarding to get these happy tears and happy emails from the patients in this study who finish treatment and realize, 'Oh my god, I get to keep all my normal body functions that I feared I might lose to radiation or surgery,'” said the principal investigator medical oncologist Andrea Cercek in a statement.

The study, which was sponsored by the drug company GlaxoSmithKline, was presented on June 5 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Inspired to act?

SUPPORT: Check out the American Cancer Society. They work to fund and support work in the development and treatment of cancer.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

You might also like…