A small study of 12 patients with locally advanced colorectal cancer came as a surprise: all patients are in remission, without further treatment, more than two years after the trial.
“I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer”, said Dr. Luis A. Diaz, author of an article just published in the New England Journal of Medicine. And indeed, the results of this very small American study are enough to shake the world of health.
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Immunotherapy as the one and only treatment
Furthermore, all the patients seem to have responded well to the treatment. However, if immunotherapy is generally better tolerated than other anti-cancer treatments with heavy side effects, a small proportion of patients may encounter more severe complications.
See also the article: Immunotherapy against cancer: what you need to know
It is better to avoid talking a little too quickly about a miracle anti-cancer drug, despite these encouraging and unprecedented results. First, longer patient follow-up is needed to assess the duration of treatment response, the study concludes. Then, the clinical trial only covers a small number of people, the study must also be replicated to be validated. And finally, the treated patients presented with a certain type of tumour. “It is also unclear whether the results of this small study conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will be generalizable to a larger population of patients with rectal cancer. » said Dr. Hanna Sanoff in an article in addition to the study. And if the doctor talks about “small but convincing study”she remains cautious: “These results give rise to great optimism, but such an approach cannot yet supplant our current curative therapeutic approach. »
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The New England Journal of Medicine (study)
The New England Journal of Medicine (Dr. Sanoff article)
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