BETHESDA, MdThe National Cancer Institute has launched a
double-blind study of thalidomide (Thalomid) to test its
effectiveness in preventing colorectal cancer recurrence. The study
will enroll 94 patients who will make their medical visits at the
National Institutes of Health. Half will receive thalidomide, and
half will get a placebo.
Eligible patients are men and women with local recurrence in the
colon following surgery or whose colon cancer has metastasized but is
Patients will begin thalidomide at 100 mg/day, with escalation up to
300 mg/day if tolerated. Because of thalidomides sedative
effect, patients will take their pills once daily at bedtime.
Patients will remain in the study up to 2 years.
Thalidomide prevents the growth of new blood vessels, such as those
needed for a tumor to grow. Because of its well-known ability to
cause severe birth defects, both men and women participating in the
trial must agree to use two types of contraception.