Findings from early stage rectal cancer study look promising

A new study has doctors like Steven Wexner hopeful for patients with rectal cancer and it's too early to call it a "cure."

WESTON, Fla. – There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding news that scientists may be on the brink of a breakthrough in treating rectal cancer.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina found the immunotherapy drug Dostarlimab was especially effective in a Phase 2 clinical trial of a dozen patients with a sub-type of rectal cancer that tends to be less responsive to chemotherapy and radiation.

“What this study has introduced now is another way of making tumors disappear with a higher percentage, actually 100 percent, rather than roughly 33 percent albeit in a relatively small number of patients with relatively short follow up . . . Nonetheless very exciting that we might not only be able to avoid surgery but even avoid chemotherapy and radiation in patients with rectal cancers,” said Dr. Steven Wexner, colorectal surgeon with Cleveland Clinic Weston.

Wexner said the long-term benefits of the drug are not clear and it’s too early to call it a “cure.”

He added that there are other immunotherapy drugs that could also be tested against this form of rectal cancer.

ADHD and smoking

Research has found that adults with ADHD are more likely to smoke cigarettes and become dependent on nicotine.

Nicotine is a stimulant that acts on the brain in a similar way to some of the medications used to treat ADHD and could potentially help a person focus on a task and boost concentration levels.

However, the effects are short-lived and over time, many people need to smoke more cigarettes more often to achieve the same effects.

Additionally, studies have shown that people with ADHD find it harder to quit smoking and may feel more intense withdrawal symptoms.

With proper mediation for the disorder, many adults with ADHD have been able to stop self-medicating with cigarettes.

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.