What you need to know about dostarlimab: cancer drug testing with 100% success

This has been described as one of the most surprising developments in cancer treatment and research. All 12 cases of rectal cancer in a clinical trial were completely cured after six months of taking friendlabimab. They battled a locally advanced form of colorectal cancer at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, USA. According to the medical journal, a single dose of about $ 11,000 was given every three weeks for six months. At the end of the test, all of them were diagnosed with cancer by endoscopy, PET scans (positron emission tomography) and MRI scans.

“Surprising.” “Unexpected.” “Awesome.”

These are some of the benefits that have been used to describe an exciting new drug called dosarlimab used in cancer research. Yes, it is too early to call it “treatment” and, of course, more research is needed.

However, the results also surprised researchers: a new study showed that 100% of patients with 12 cases of rectal cancer registered in a clinical trial had 100% remission.

Experimental drugs, monoclonal antibody therapy, involve the patient’s own immune cells to begin the fight against cancer cells.

Dostarlimab is known by the medical research community as a “PD-1 blockade” drug and a “checkpoint inhibitor”.

The test included 12 patients with a small group of laboratory-confirmed cancers, a locally advanced colorectal cancer with “mismatch repair-deficiency (dMMR)”.

We hope that these findings can be replicated in other cancers, such as gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, and bladder cancer, which are inadequately repaired.

– Dr. Andrea Sercek, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

“Programmed Cell Death” for Cancer

Researchers at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, New York, found that the drug works against dMMR colorectal cancer, which is equivalent to “programmed death” for cancer cells.

100% success, however, a small number of tests were found

Participants – a total of 12 patients with laboratory-confirmed, locally advanced solid tumors of stage II and III rectal cancer.

Cancer experts who were not part of the study group described the initial results as a potential “game changer.”

Here are the key things to know:

Why is it called a medical “pass”?

In a clinical trial involving these people, a drug containing an agent that works against a specific type of cancer was first discovered.

This is also the first time this treatment has been used for incompatible repair-deficiency (dMMR) bowel cancer, and it has resulted in 100% remission in each patient.

Photo credit: Vijit Pulikkal / Gulf News

What is the medicine called? What does this do?

The drug is called dostarlimab. It belongs to a class of drugs called “immune checkpoint inhibitors.”

In fact, it disrupts a person’s natural immune system. Dostarlimab is an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody (“PD” means “programmed death”).

How big was the drug test?

It was a small clinical trial – 12 patients were registered. All of them were diagnosed at an early stage of colorectal tumors from stage 1 to stage 3.

Patient reactions

Here is the reaction of some of the patients involved in the trial.

How was it managed? Who is the manufacturer?

Rectal adenocarcinoma of the rectum II or III administered every 3 weeks for 6 months in patients with insufficient recovery of the agent dostarlimab alone. The test was called the “Phase 2 Study”.

GlaxoSmithKline is developed dostarlimab under the Jemperli brand.

What is the history behind drugs?

Jemperli is the brand name of dostarlimab-gxly used to treat advanced solid tumors. Jumperley received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021 after dMMR was approved for endometrial cancer screening.

Where and when was the study published?

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 5, 2022, found that “PD-1 blockade in non-invasive repair is insufficient, locally advanced rectal cancer.”

The researchers built on the basis of previous studies that found that dMMR responds to programmed death 1 (PD-1) blockade in the context of metastatic disease.

It was hypothesized that blockade of the checkpoint may be effective in patients with malignant rectal defect (dMMR).

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IT means the cancer has spread to another part of the body from where it started

What does the medicine do?

“This type of cancer we treat is called‘ repair failure ’,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrea Sercek, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, explained to CNN in New York.

“Basically, they don’t have a gene that repairs DNA. So the tumor looks very, very special. They have many mutations that work as effectively as the immune system’s cancer-recognizing flagella. Thus, the patient’s immune system is interested in fighting cancer.

“When we give a checkpoint inhibitor like the drug we use, dosarlimab, it breaks down the immune system,” he added.

“It attracts a lot of immune cells and they start fighting cancer. And in this case, they fought it so well that the cancer in each patient can be completely eradicated by only one checkpoint inhibitor.

According to him, this gene is present in 3% to 4% of other tumors in the early stages.

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What is the current standard of care for colorectal cancer?

Physicians in chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are often used to treat rectal cancer. Both radiation and surgery can be debilitating: they alter gastrointestinal habits and affect sexual function and fertility. Then, because about 30% of patients have a tumor, a permanent colostomy is needed at the time of surgery. So it is very destructive and really changes the patient’s life and chances of survival.


Number of patients with colorectal cancer in 2020
(Source: kanser.net)

What were the results of the tests?

All 12 patients (100%) had a “complete clinical response” with no evidence of tumor on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), F-fluorodoxoxyglucose-positron emission tomography, endoscopic evaluation, digital rectal examination, or biopsy. a magazine. “In addition, patients who received chemotherapy or did not undergo surgery, and no cases of progression or recurrence were observed (range, 6 to 25 months). No adverse events of grade 3 or higher have been reported. “

What do other experts say about this?

According to Alan Burgete-Torres, the test results are a “game changer.” A professor of medicine and a doctor at the Cancer Center at the University of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, was not part of the study.

How much does Dostarlimab cost?

One report states that the drug costs about $ 11,000 (approximately Dh40,700) in a 500mg dose in the United States.

In the UK, it sells for £ 5,887.33 for a 500 mg bottle. Dostarlimab is used in the treatment of advanced endometrial cancer because the UK National Health Service has a discounted price from the manufacturer GSK.

colorectal cancer

Worldwide, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis. In 2020, approximately 1,880,725 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. These numbers include 1,148,515 cases of colon cancer and 732,210 cases of colorectal cancer.
This year, approximately 151,030 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. These figures include 106,180 new colorectal cancers (54,040 men and 52,140 women) and 44,850 new colorectal cancers (26,650 men and 18,200 women).

What does this mean for other cancers?

While the results are promising, other experts say it is too early to call it a “cure.”

The results should be repeated on a larger scale.

But the study has raised hopes that the world has found a weapon against some of the cancers.

Dr. Tserchek said: “We hope to be able to replicate these findings in other malignancies, such as gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, and bladder cancer.

“If it works, we can save patients from surgery and radiation in those tumors.”

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