New drug gives colorectal cancer research “a boost of hope,” says Dame Deborah James

DAME Deborah James says a new drug trial offers a ‘surge of hope’ for colon cancer patients.

The results of the research, released this week, have stunned doctors.

Bowel Babe Dame Deborah James says an experimental drug trial in colon cancer patients is positive news

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Bowel Babe Dame Deborah James says an experimental drug trial in colon cancer patients is positive newsCredit: Bowelbabe/Instagram
Dame Debs said the drug could work in a very specific type of colon cancer patient

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Dame Debs said the drug could work in a very specific type of colon cancer patientCredit: Instagram/ Bowelbabe
But she said so "gives hope" and opens up more studies

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But she said it “inspires hope” and opens up more trialsCredit: Instagram/ Bowelbabe

Twelve patients taking the drug called dostarlimab saw their tumors “disappear.”

One of the key researchers said the never-before-seen results were “every cancer doctor’s dream”.

Dostarlimab is an immunotherapy drug, which means it trains the person’s own immune system to fight the cancer.

There is still a long way to go before the drug would be available to patients, and only some would potentially benefit.

Sophie Wessex supports Deborah James in Gibraltar by showing off the BowelBabe t-shirt
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Experts stated that the examined tumors make up about five to ten percent of all patients with rectal cancer – a form of colon cancer.

Dame Deborah, 40, who was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer in 2016, praised the research on Instagram last night.

She wrote: “The drug is for a VERY specific subset of colorectal cancer patients.

“For the 6%, it offers a boost of hope for the immunotherapy options that are working well, but not at this level.

“For the rest of us, we still have unmet needs. Hundreds of clinical trials are underway to try to make immunotherapy work in the majority of the MSI colorectal cancer population.

“But no clear breakthroughs YET!

“However, results like this will then open up trials for the mainstream subgroup, so that’s positive!”

Mum-of-two Dame Debs launched the Bowelbabe fund in early May to “speed up” colon cancer research.

Since its launch it has already reached £6.7m, with at least a further £1m coming from sales of t-shirts, handbags and roses inspired by Dame Debs.

Sun writer Dame Debs urged people to donate as their last wish as she is now receiving palliative care at her parents’ home in Woking.

The results of the dostarlimab study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Every participant who took the drug went into remission with no signs of the disease in their bodies.

It has now been two years since the first study and none of the 12 patients required further treatment.

Doctors couldn’t find any signs of her colon cancer, also known as colon cancer.

dr Andrea Cercek, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and co-author of the study, told CNN, “It’s absolutely incredible.

“We didn’t expect that. We’ve certainly never seen this before.
“It really is what cancer doctors dreams are made of, to see a reaction like this… Such incredible efficacy with really almost no toxicity.”

She told the New York Times: “There were a lot of tears of joy.

“Particularly in patients where standard care would compromise childbearing potential.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to get those tears of joy and happy emails from the patients in this study who complete treatment and say, ‘Oh my god, I’m able to keep all of my normal bodily functions that I feared I wouldn’t they could lose through radiation or surgery’. “

co-author dr. Luis Alberto Diaz added that he believes this is the first time a drug has had this effect in the history of cancer.

Other experts have also praised the treatment, which costs around £9,000 a dose.

dr Hanna Sanoff, oncologist at the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, said, “These results give cause for great optimism.

“But without further research, dostarlimab cannot yet replace the curative standard of care for rectal cancer with misfit repair.”

Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer after lung cancer.

Around 43,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year, with 268,000 Brits living with the disease.

https://www.the-sun.com/health/5522748/new-drug-gives-uplift-hope-bowel-cancer-deborah-james/ New drug gives colorectal cancer research “a boost of hope,” says Dame Deborah James

Sarah Y. Kim

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