Author | Wen-Jen Hwu, MD, PhD


Commentary on Abstracts #613, #1645, #1035, and #1384

February 02, 2006

Thalidomide (Thalomid) has been commercially available in the United States since October 1998. The use of thalidomide in the treatment of malignancies is growing as its potential utility for treating multiple myeloma, renal-cell cancer, and AIDS-

Commentary on Abstracts #2130 and #2257

February 02, 2006

Neovascularization has been shown to be a critical step in the progression of metastatic disease. Most tumors in humans do not grow beyond 2 to 3 mm³ without neovascularization. Angiogenesis increases tumor growth via perfusion and paracrine

Commentary on Abstract #2391

February 02, 2006

Thalidomide (Thalomid) is a derivative of glutamic acid that was introduced as a nonbarbiturate hypnotic in 1956 by a West German company. It was used widely as an over-the-counter sedative and antiemetic drug in countries other than the United States. Because of its presumed safety and antinausea effect, it was given to pregnant women suffering from morning sickness and to influenza patients experiencing nausea. Subsequently, over 12,000 malformed babies were born as the result of fetal exposure to thalidomide early in pregnancy. When its teratogenic effects-notably flipperlike limbs-became known, thalidomide was withdrawn from the market in 1961. In the mid-1960s, after it was given as a sedative to a small number of leprosy patients in Israel afflicted with erythema nodosum leprosum, it was noted that the patients’ symptoms rapidly and markedly improved.

Commentary on Abstract #2268

February 02, 2006

Ventura and Roberts (abstract #2268) made an interesting observation of a disease response in a patient with angiosarcoma. This patient initially received radiation to a large mass in the neck and had a minor response-less than 10% shrinkage of the