Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Hope on the Horizon



This weekend, my daughter emailed a copy of a newspaper article to me. She knows I like to keep up with all things cancer related and would definitely be interested in this miraculous news. 

As I opened the email and began reading, my jaw dropped. I could barely believe my eyes. 
The email contained an article about a small clinical trial involving a dozen rectal cancer patients. The trial participants were given a monoclonal antibody, Dostarlimab, every three weeks for a period of six months. (This drug is sold under the name, Jemperli, by GlaxoSmithKline and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in treating some types of endometrial cancer.)
During the trial, diagnostic tests were performed on each patientand the results were almost impossible to believe- the rectal cancers were gone! This was remarkable news and oncologist, Luis Diaz, Jr., MD, with Memorial Sloan Kettering, said: “I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer.” 

All I could say was, “Wow!!!” The news was so exciting and all I could think was, “Now there’s real hope on the horizon.”

For the past 8 years, I’ve prayed for a cure for breast cancer. I’d always hoped for a cure for cancer since my first brush with it over forty years ago, when a dear friend was diagnosed and I’d watched her succumb to the disease, but when it entered my life, I took it personally. That’s one reason I’ve read and studied everything I could related to breast cancer. But breast cancer isn’t the only cancer out there. There are so many types of cancers and all cancer, in my humble opinion, needs to be eradicated. 

Of course, there’s big money in cancer treatment and I’ve often wondered if that’s why we haven’t found a cure for many cancers yet, but this clinical trial is so promising, I hope people will understand the magnitude of it. 

Though promising, the trial authors cautioned more research needs to be conducted on the effects of Dostarlimab. They hope to increase the size of the study by adding participants but are optimistic that this drug will prove safe and effective. 

The medication is extremely expensive, running about $11,000 per dose, but many experimental drugs are very costly in the beginning and hopefully, as studies continue, the cost of the medication will be lowered

The study indicated there was a low evidence of side effects and seemed to be well tolerated when compared to other types of conventional treatments for cancer. 

All in all, it sounds like this clinical study was a huge success. 

As a cancer survivor, I am extremely happy to read about a successful study. More often than not, we only hear about the bad news with regard to cancer treatments. There are so many negative side effects from chemotherapy, radiation, and even anti-hormone therapies. 

The possibility of new drugs with few side effects able to cure cancers is almost too good to be true, but this small study proves it can be done.

There is hope and we must cling to that. We need more survivors in the world today, ones who will join us in hoping soon that we won’t have to fight cancer anymore because there won’t be any cancer to fight


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