Every rectal cancer patient in a small clinical drug trial conducted by New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has seen their cancer go into remission after receiving an experimental immunotherapy treatment. The findings were published by researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 5th.
One of the participants in the trial, Sascha Roth, told the New York Times that she was preparing to travel to Manhattan for weeks of radiation therapy when the results from Memorial Sloan Kettering came in, informing her that she was now cancer-free.
“I told my family. They didn’t believe me,” said Roth.
The same thing happened for the other patients who took part in the trial, as the cancer seemed to have vanished in every single one of them and was undetectable by a physical exam, endoscopy, PET, or MRI scans.
One of the authors of the paper detailing the trial, Dr. Luis A. Diaz Jr. of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, told the NYT that he knew of no other study in which a treatment completely obliterated a cancer in every patient.
“I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer,” he said.