New Anti-PD-1 Drug Eliminates Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer Using Genomic Biomarkers

New Anti-PD-1 Drug Eliminates Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer Using Genomic Biomarkers

Table of Contents

June 8, 2022

Towards New Treatments for Rectal Cancer

The standard treatment option for locally advanced rectal cancer remains chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical resection. However, in the age of genomics and cancer immunotherapies, researchers are looking for better, less invasive solutions to this devastating disease.

Fortunately, PD-1 blockade, a highly successful immunotherapy across cancer types, proved efficacious in metastatic rectal cancer with the commonly used mismatch repair deficiency biomarker, so researchers tested the anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody dostarlimab on local rectal cancer with the same mismatch repair signature.

Remarkable Success

Shockingly, the drug produced a 100% clinical complete response- that is to say, that all of the 12 patients in the study had undetectable rectal cancer by multiple testing methods (MRI, biopsy, and more) after 6 months of treatment every 3 weeks.

These kinds of results are almost unheard of in cancer studies and are yet another proof of concept for the use of targeted immunotherapies and biomarkers in oncology. This new approach to cancer treatments is turning traditional views of how to classify and plan cancer treatments upside down. PD-1 blockade has worked in cancers from lung carcinoma to urothelial cancer, metastatic and non-metastatic. The future of successful cancer treatments lies in treatments targeted to the molecular characteristics of a patient’s specific tumor.

Outsourcing Bioinformatic Analyses

These results highlight the incredible potential of immuno-oncology, a field that is largely driven by bioinformatics and genomics. This illustrates the importance of high-quality data analysis pipelines for turning sequencing data into actionable biological insights. If the tools and pipelines you need aren’t performing, or don’t exist, consider reaching out to a bioinformatics as a service (BaaS) provider like Bridge Informatics. Skilled computational scientists with bench experience and biological knowledge to understand your project are what set Bridge Informatics apart from other BaaS providers. Book a free discovery call with us today to see if we can meet your data analysis and pipeline development needs.

Jane Cook, Journalist & Content Writer, Bridge Informatics

Jane is a Content Writer at Bridge Informatics, a professional services firm that helps biotech customers implement advanced techniques in the management and analysis of genomic data. Bridge Informatics focuses on data mining, machine learning, and various bioinformatic techniques to discover biomarkers and companion diagnostics. If you’re interested in reaching out, please email [email protected] or [email protected].


samples being prepared for PCR and genomic analysis
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