A year ago, Carrie Downie, a single mother of a 17-year-old son, was diagnosed with colon cancer. Six months after she began taking a new medication, doctors delivered good news, as reported by Euronews.
The medication, dostarlimab, is still undergoing trials and is intended for the treatment of a specific type of colorectal cancer that involves genetic anomalies in the cells. All patients have a specific mutation in the mismatch repair (MMR) gene.
According to Swansea Bay University, this gene defect occurs in 3.5-5% of cases of rectal cancer.
Initially, the 42-year-old woman was told that after the surgery, she might have to live with a stoma, a special bag attached to her abdomen through which waste would be collected for the rest of her life.
The South West Wales Cancer Centre referred Carrie to Dr. Craig Barrington. He told her that it was possible to eliminate cancer without resorting to any major surgery.
«He checked the biopsy results and was aware that I had this rare mutation. The doctor said that trials had already been conducted, and he was confident that he could secure funding because I met all the criteria. He asked if I wanted to proceed.»
For six months, Carrie received the medication intravenously three times a week. The procedure took about 30 minutes.
«I got tired, and I had rashes here and there, but it’s nothing compared to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery,» she says.
During the treatment, the tumor shrank, and by the end of the period, there was no trace of it.
«We were the first in the UK and among the first in the world (alongside Italy) to use this treatment method as standard practice,» said Barrington in a statement.
«It doesn’t mean that the patient must necessarily receive the medication. It’s, so to speak, an additional tool in our arsenal. But when there is research showing a 100% result, it’s hard to argue against it.»