A small cancer trial of a new experimental drug, dostarlimab, has seen all 12 participants’ cancer completely disappear. All patients involved had rectal cancers that had not yet spread through the body and were treated with the drug every three weeks over the course of six months.

The trial was carried out by scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. Luis Diaz, an oncologist who worked on the study, told The New York Times: “This is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer”.

According to the research, the drug works, not by targeting the cancer itself, but by making the cancer more visible to the immune system. This process allows for the patient’s own immune system to find and destroy the cancer.

Scientists have cautioned, however, that the drug cannot be considered a cure. The trial was too small to make any definitive conclusions, and more research is needed to further define the drug’s potential.