In a phase II study testing the PD-1 inhibitor dostarlimab in locally advanced mismatch repair–deficient rectal cancer, 100% of evaluable patients experienced a clinical complete response without needing other therapies. Standard treatment for the disease, which includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery, can lead to bowel, urinary, and sexual dysfunction, infertility, and permanent ostomy, but the study's findings suggest that neoadjuvant checkpoint blockade could spare patients these life-altering adverse events.

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