Belinda Smith
June 10 2022

An experimental drug that enlists the body's immune system to fight cancer has completely cleared tumours in people with a specific type of rectal cancer.
Key points:

  • A dozen people with a particular type of rectal cancer were tumour-free after six months of a new therapy
  • The drug, called dostarlimab, makes cancer cells visible to the immune system
  • The researchers and other scientists stress that this is a promising result, but is just the first step

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Yale University found a six-month course of a drug called dostarlimab caused all 12 patients' tumours to disappear.
At an average follow-up time of a year, the tumours had not grown back.
The results were "wonderful" but still very much preliminary, said Graham Newstead, a colorectal surgeon and medical director of Bowel Cancer Australia.

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