Thalidomide Treating Bone-Marrow Cancer
WASHINGTON - The once-notorious drug thalidomide is making a further comeback. The F-D-A has approved using thalidomide to help treat bone-marrow cancer. Thalidomide has also been used to treat leprosy since 1998. It was banned worldwide in 1962 after it was found to have caused thousands of birth defects. Recent studies have given mixed views of the drug's effectiveness in treating multiple myeloma. In one study published in March, researchers found the drug did not prolong the lives of patients. However, in a second study published the same week, the drug did appear to allow older patients to live longer, but at the price of serious side effects. Thalidomide is currently marketed under a restricted distribution program and bears severe warnings cautioning patients of the risk of birth defects.
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