For newly diagnosed multiple myeloma; Previously scorned thalidomide gives new option for patients with difficult-to-treat cancer
A recent study conducted at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center shows that patients with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, were more likely to achieve remission when treated with a combination of drugs that included thalidomide, a medicine that had previously been shelved for causing birth defects.
Donna Weber, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Raymond Alexanian, M.D., professor of medicine, and their colleagues at M. D. Anderson report in the January 1, 2003 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology that 72 percent of 40 newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma who received a combination of thalidomide and the steroid dexamethasone achieved remission rapidly, usually within one month of treatment. Among these patients, 16 percent achieved complete remission. The results were superior to a second set of patients in a parallel study treated with thalidomide alone. In these patients, about one-third (10 of 28 patients), achieved partial remission and none achieved complete remission.
Laura Sussman | EurekAlert!
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