Early anticancer research involving thalidomide was abandoned in the 1960s as the catastrophe surrounding the drug emerged, but research efforts were picked up in the 1990s when thalidomide’s antiangiogenic and anti-tumour necrosis factor properties were explored. More than 50,000 patients with multiple myeloma are estimated to have been treated with thalidomide to date. Research with thalidomide provides clear and convincing evidence that thalidomide monotherapy is efficacious in relapsed and refractory patients with multiple myeloma. Results typically show a consistent 30% (95% confidence interval 27–32%) response rate (partial response + complete response, defined as a reduction of at least 50% in the monoclonal protein). Thalidomide treatment compares favourably with other typical treatments for multiple myeloma. In seven trials that included 332 patients, vincristine, adriamycin and dexamethasone (VAD) had a response rate of 39% (32–45%), while a trial in 193 patients showed a response rate with bortezomib of 27% (21–34%). The use of thalidomide in combination therapy could boost its efficacy further. More studies to look at the toxicity of the drug need to be carried out. Despite thalidomide’s dark past, this drug is of major interest and could be brought back to clinical use in a controlled manner.

Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.