The twelve patients with rectal cancer saw their tumor disappear in six months thanks to taking this drug. And without any side effects.
A real hope in the cure of colorectal cancer. A study published on June 5 in the scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine reports the extraordinary result of an American clinical trial.
Twelve patients with colorectal cancer with tumors stopped all usual treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy… for six months to take a molecule used at the base of endometrial cancer.
A drug that does not attack cancer cells directly
The drug in question is dostarlimaba monoclonal antibody.
The taking was all done three weeks during the six months of the test.
The molecule does not act directly on cancer cells but it allows the immune system to do so, as explained by researcher Hanna K. Sanoff, in an article supplementing the publication of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The patients knew that at the end of the treatment they would have to undergo chemotherapy, see an operation to remove the tumour(s). It was just a matter of testing the molecule on their
100% recovery, but caution still in order
At the end of the trial, the 12 patients were followed for a few months, but none showed the slightest trace of a tumor.
Dr Luis Diaz, one of the co-authors of the study told the New York Times: “This is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer“.
Lall patients tested during this clinical trial entered in remission.
In addition, during the clinical trial, no side effects on patients was not noted.
But the results must be put into perspective. Beyond the fact of the hope they arouse.
You should know that this treatment is already used for other cancers and it does not have the same cure rate. Moreover, the clinical trial was very limited with only 12 patients.
For the time being, the patients in question no longer have cancer, but here too we must be careful. Between total recovery and remission, it is not the same thing.
The authors of the publication have also clarified: for the moment, there is no question of using this treatment as a cure, other more aggressive treatments are therefore not to be excluded from the treatment protocol, although on the contrary.
A molecule that has not been authorized for reimbursement in France
The molecule has already been tested, in particular in France, on patients with endometrial cancer in 2021.
The laboratory had thus had the temporary authorization for use.
Subsequently, the High Authority for Health issued an unfavorable opinion on the reimbursement by Social Security of this molecule (called Jemperli), in 2021 in the treatment of adult patients with endometrial cancer.
It justified that, “in the context where no robust comparative data is available to guarantee the strength of the conclusion on the effect of treatment with Jemperli (dostarlimab), the introduction of this drug into the therapeutic strategy would be accompanied greater risk-taking than for drugs whose effectiveness is based on a comparison made with a control of the risk of concluding wrongly that the treatment is effective.
You should know that this drug costs more than 10,000 euros per dose.
But research on this molecule will necessarily continue in view of the excellent results on this type of cancer and perhaps on others…