New Cancer-Killing Drug : Dosterlimab

Tags: Science and Technology

A trial of 18 colorectal cancer patients in the US found that the cancer is curable without chemotherapy or surgery. All the patients involved in the trial were given a drug called Dostarlimab. The drug was given to the patients every three weeks for six months.

  • Experts say this is perhaps the first time in the history of modern medical science that an experimental procedure has been successful against the most dreaded disease.

  • What is Dostarlimab?

  • It is an immunotherapy drug from GlaxoSmithKline.

  • It consists of molecules created by the laboratory.

  • It acts as a substitute antibody. It is sold under the brand name Gemperly.

  • It was approved for medical use in the United States and the European Union in 2021.

  • Its side effects include vomiting, joint pain, itching, rash, fever, etc.

  • Findings of the experiment

  • The trial showed that immunotherapy alone (without chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery) has been the basis of cancer treatment.

  • It can completely cure patients with a specific type of rectal cancer called 'mismatch repair deficit' cancer.

  • No cases of progression of disease or recurrence had been reported during the treatment. 

  • Within nine weeks of starting treatment, 81% of patients had less symptoms and a faster physical response.

  • How does the drug work?

  • It is a type of monoclonal antibody that blocks proteins called checkpoints that are made by immune system cells, such as T cells and some cancer cells.

  • The test used checkpoints that allow T cells to kill cancer cells.

  • When these checkpoints are blocked, T cells are free to kill cancer cells more efficiently.

  • Examples of checkpoint proteins found on T cells or cancer cells include PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA-4 and B7-1.

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