SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
Recently, in a medical trial, 12 patients in the United States were completely The Cancer Cure of rectal cancer without requiring any surgery or chemotherapy.
- The trial used a monoclonal antibody called dostarlimab every three weeks for six months for the treatment of a particular kind of stage two or three rectal cancer.
THE RESULT OF THE TRIAL:
- Immunotherapy alone could completely cure the patients with a particular kind of rectal cancer called ‘mismatch repair-deficient cancer.
- No cases of progression or recurrence had been reported during the follow-up
The response too was rapid, with symptoms resolving in 81% of the patients within nine weeks of starting the therapy.
MISMATCH REPAIR DEFICIENT:
- Mismatch repair-deficient cancer is most common among colorectal, gastrointestinal, and endometrial cancers. Patients suffering from this condition lack the genes to correct typos in the DNA that occur naturally while cells make copies.
- Immunotherapy belongs to a category called PD1 blockades which are now recommended for the treatment of such cancers rather than chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
- PD1 is a protein that regulates immune function and can sometimes keep T cells from killing cancer cells.
- The therapy in the trial used PD1 blockades, allowing T cells to kill cancer cells.
ACCESSIBILITY OF TREATMENT IN INDIA
- The problem with immunotherapies is that they are expensive and unaffordable for most people in India.
- Precision medicine for cancer treatment is happening in India, but it is still in its nascent stages.
- It would take at least ten years for it to become commonplace.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
Source: Indian Express