It was a small trial, just 18 rectal cancer patients, every one of whom took the same drug.
The cancer vanished in every single patient, undetectable by physical exam, endoscopy, PET scans or M.R.I. scans.
“I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer,” Dr. Diaz said.
Dr. Alan P. Venook, a colorectal cancer specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved with the study, said he also thought this was a first.
A complete remission in every single patient is “unheard-of,” he said.
These rectal cancer patients had faced grueling treatments — chemotherapy, radiation and, most likely, life-altering surgery that could result in bowel, urinary and sexual dysfunction. »