Dostarlimab is a drug that assists patients who have been diagnosed with certain types of cancer. It’s used in conjunction with another treatment, usually chemotherapy or radiation therapy, to help the patient recover from their illness more quickly and with fewer lasting side effects. Dostarlimab targets a specific type of cell that is involved in producing new blood vessels and repairing tissue after an injury. When the body experiences an infection or trauma, it creates so-called monocytes which are macrophage cells that produce cytokines. These proteins signal white blood cells to come and fight off the invader or begin repairs. However, in some cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma, these macrophages become overactive and begin creating too many cytokines which leads to overproduction of new blood vessels. The dostarimab attaches to these macrophages blocking their ability to create cytokines and thus slowing down the production of new blood vessels. The drug is injected into the body once a week for an average of eight weeks but may be adjusted depending on the patient’s response to treatment.
How is Dostarlimab Administered?
Dostarlimab is administered through an intravenous injection in a clinic or doctor’s office. Patients are given an appointment that includes an ultrasound to locate the blood vessels in the arms where the medication will be injected. This helps to prevent any unwanted side effects such as irritation or inflammation. Dostarlimab must be injected slowly over a period of four minutes to ensure that the patient does not experience a reaction such as a drop in blood pressure. Unlike some chemotherapy drugs which are injected directly into a vein, dostarlimab must enter the bloodstream over time in order to be effective.
What Types of Cancer Can Be Treated With Dostarlimab?
Dostarlimab is used in combination with chemotherapy to treat certain types of cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia. It is also used with other therapies to treat solid tumors such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. It may also be prescribed in addition to surgical procedures for treating certain cancers such as skin cancer.
Warnings and Precautions of Dostarlimab
Because dostarlimab targets specific cells, it can also cause reactions where those cells are located. For example, the drug may cause irritation or inflammation in the veins where it is injected. It may also cause a drop in blood pressure in patients who are already at risk for low blood pressure. Cancer patients who are experiencing nausea or vomiting may not be able to receive the dostarlimab injection due to the risk of needle-related infections.
Benefits of Dostarlimab
– Dostarlimab can help patients recover from cancer therapies more quickly. – Dostarlimab can reduce the risk of complications for patients receiving chemotherapy. It can also protect the heart from damage caused by chemotherapy drugs. – Dostarlimab can protect patients from the long-term effects of chemotherapy such as heart disease, hearing loss, and kidney damage.
Limitations of Dostarlimab for Cancer Patients
– Dostarlimab cannot be used alone to treat cancer. – It is not effective in patients who have a type of leukemia that is T-cell or B-cell related. – Dostarlimab treatment may not be effective in patients who have a high level of cytokines before starting treatment.
Side Effects of Dostarlimab
– Side effects of dostarlimab vary depending on the patient, the type of cancer being treated, and the dosage used. – Itching at the injection site is common. Patients may also experience redness, swelling, or pain at the site.
Cancer patients who are being treated with above mentioned drug can expect to experience side effects such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and coughing. These symptoms usually subside after the treatment is finished. For patients who are suffering from a cancer that has spread to the rest of the body, chemotherapy alone may not be enough to kill all of the cancer cells. It can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy to reduce the number of cancer cells and allow chemotherapy to work more effectively. This can help patients achieve remission more quickly and reduce the risk of recurrence. It’s important to discuss all treatment options with your doctor so you can decide which one is best for you.