Thalidomide Proving Its Mettle as Cancer Fighter

Yet another study shows it may help people with bone marrow cancer

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TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Thalidomide may help people with bone marrow cancer live longer.

The latest finding, from a Mayo Clinic study in the January issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests the drug may be a powerful cancer treatment.

The study included 32 people with advanced multiple myeloma whose treatments with standard chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation failed. Almost a third of those in the study responded to thalidomide for an average of about a year.

This study confirms findings from an earlier study from the University of Arkansas.

Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of the bone marrow. About 14,600 people in the United States were diagnosed with myeloma in 2002, and about 10,800 people died from myeloma. The average survival time from diagnosis is three to four years for people treated with conventional chemotherapy.

Thalidomide is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of myeloma.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about multiple myeloma.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, January 2003

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