Groundbreaking new treatment in battling rectal cancer

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NEW YORK, N.Y. (WHEC) – A groundbreaking new treatment proves to be a potential game-changer in battling rectal cancer.

All of the patients in a small New York City-led cancer trial experienced the total remission of cancer.

Two years later, all the study participants are still cancer-free. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The drug used is an immunotherapy drug typically used to treat endometrial cancer. This is the first time it has been used to battle rectal cancer tumors.

"This is an example of how 30 years ago, there was laboratory research done and we’re benefiting from it now, it speaks to the fact that we need more research in fundamental basic science," said Dr. Luis Diaz, Memorial Sloan Kettering oncologist.

Doctors want to repeat the results with a larger group, saying it’s too early to say the cancer is permanently gone.