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Thalidomide: Does not improve small cell lung cancer, new study finding.

Recently, science from the U.K have report that treating patients with chemotherapy and thalidomide did not improve for those survival among patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). According to a...

Recently, science from the U.K have report that treating patients with chemotherapy and thalidomide did not improve for those survival among patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). According to a new study, this new approach (lung cancer treatment) did increase their risk of blood clot. The drug has been banned for 50 years ago for morning sickness led to major birth defects, is being researched as a small cell lung cancer treatment. According to a result of new study published in the August issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

However, scientist said that the drug is used positive result on other related cancer treatment.

 Thalidomide is a drug being used for inhibits the producing of new blood vessels. This mean it target and stop cancer growth by depriving the cancer of oxygen and nutritients by suppresses the formation of new blood vessels.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for about 15% to 20% of all lung cancers.  There no significant increasing the survival rate in the past 25 years.

The research in U.K conducted a phase 3 clinical trial among 724 patients. The study is to be first randomized double blind trial, further study into using thalidomide to treat this form of lung cancer. Half number had of limited stage SCLC, and half number had critical SCLC. Ending, the researchers found no evidence of a survival difference between the two groups. The median overall survival for patients who received the placebo was 10.5 months. For patients who took thalidomide capsules, it was 10.1 months. Survival without cancer progression was also similar in the two study groups.  Based on the finding, patient were treated with thalidomide, had higher risk to blood clots among patients in the thalidomide group than among patients in the placebo group.

“Together, these results suggest that targeting anti-angiogenesis in SCLC may not work as well as in multiple myeloma or colorectal cancer, perhaps because of differences in the angiogenic pathways involved in SCLC,” the authors write.

In the same journal, Dr Curzio Rüegg and Dr Solange Peters of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland says this study, along with other negative findings from previous research, should lead scientists to carry out more studies into both small cell lung cancer and the use of thalidomide to prevent blood vessel development.

“Rather than running from failure to failure, it may be more reasonable to go back to experimental work, including the development and analysis of transgenic SCLC models, to better understand SCLC biology and identify robust therapeutic targets,” the editorialists write.

Source: Medical New Today,

Lee SM, Woll PJ, Rudd R et al. Anti-angiogenic therapy using thalidomide combined with chemotherapy in small cell lung cancer: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2009;101:1049-1057. 

  Journal of the National Cancer Institute, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS, Steve Graff

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