In this story:

  • The trial, led by Kristina Young, M.D., Ph.D., enrolled 38 patients over four years, with 12 patients, or 32%, achieving complete response
  • This compares to a historical response rate of 15% with standard treatment
  • Lives were saved with the addition of Galunisertib, an immunotherapy pill that helped activate the patient’s immune system to fight the cancer
  • Advances in colorectal cancer treatments such as this research comes at a critical time as data from the past 20 years shows a significant increase in colorectal cancer diagnoses in people under the age 50

“Response to chemoradiation prior to surgery for rectal cancer is associated with better cancer survival – we believe the right immune therapy in this setting can improve these outcomes. Our trial showed improved outcomes in those patients who went to surgery, and high rates of organ preservation in those who were eligible for medical management.”— Kristina Young, M.D., Ph.D., radiation oncologist with The Oregon Clinic and an Assistant Member, Tumor Microenvironment Laboratory at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute

This article was originally published on the Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon blog, August 2022.


Give Now