A new drug is to transform the survival rates of women with womb cancer. Trials found that more than six in 10 patients diagnosed with the most commonly recognised genetic form of womb cancer were free from the illness after one year of treatment.
This compared to 24 percent of those not given the drug, research in the New England Journal of Medicine showed.
After two years, more than 60 percent of those given dostarlimab remained disease-free, compared to 16 percent of those on the placebo, a medical conference in Tampa, Florida, was told.
During the trials, dostarlimab – developed by GSK – was added to chemotherapy treatment. It is designed to block cell signals that stop the body’s immune system recognising and destroying cancer cells.
The research has been hailed as a major breakthrough by clinicians.
Dr Rebecca Kristeleit, consultant medical oncologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “The trial results have reset our experience of survival for patients with advanced endometrial cancer.
They show that dostarlimab, added to chemotherapy, can significantly increase survival compared to chemotherapy alone.”
Dr Clare Green, of Southampton University NHS Trust, has been using the new treatment for patients with relapsed womb cancer for over a year.
She said: “Before this drug we would have to tell patients that advanced disease is not curable.
“Now we can say we have a treatment which could keep them well for years.”
Around 10,000 new cases of endometrial, or womb, cancer are reported each year in the UK. It is the eighth most common cause of cancer death in females.
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