Promising success of early-stage immunotherapy

DECRYPTION – Six months after treatment, the cancer was undetectable by MRI, tomography, endoscopy and biopsy for the 14 patients with a special form of rectal cancer.

Such good news in oncology is a priori unheard of. Immunotherapy treatment alone cured the fourteen patients in a clinical trial conducted by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and presented at the American Oncology Congress in Chicago a few days ago, are as spectacular as they are gratifying: six to twenty-five months after stopping their therapy, patients, suffering from a special form of rectal cancer, no longer show any trace of tumor.

“This is a big step forward for patients”rejoiced the Dr Luis Diaz, co-author of the study. Currently, the standard treatment for rectal cancers without metastases consists of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to reduce the size of the tumor, followed by surgery. The sequelae of the operation can be difficult for the patients to live with, with repercussions on the functioning…

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