Some patients were required to use a colostomy bag due to treatment, the Times said.
Towards the end of the drug trial, the patients didn’t face the heartache of potentially damaging treatment when they showed no signs of a tumor after receiving an MRI, biopsy and rectal examination.
“There were a lot of happy tears,” Dr. Andrea Cercek, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, told the outlet.
Alongside not needing any additional treatment to quell the disease, there were no instances of recurring cancers in the patients during their follow-up appointments from six to 25 months after the trial’s conclusion.
Despite the results being “small but compelling,” Dr Hanna K Sanoff of the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, who was not affiliated with the study, said it isn’t transparent if the patients are cured.
“Very little is known about the duration of time needed to find out whether a complete clinical response to dostarlimab equates to cure,” Sanoff penned in an editorial accompanying the paper.
Dr. Kimmie Ng, who is a colorectal cancer expert at Harvard Medical School, also noted that the results would need to be repeated despite how “remarkable” it was.
It still serves as hopeful news for patients.
Sascha Roth, a participant in the trial, also said she had plans to move to Manhattan for chemotherapy and radiation treatment ahead of the study’s start.
And then she received golden news from her doctors: The trial was fruitful and she was cancer-free.
“I told my family,” she said. “They didn’t believe me.”
And two years later, it was reported that she did not have a trace of cancer.
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