Thalidomide and Angiogenesis

26 Sep

Once prescribed for morning sickness, Thalidomide accounted for many birth defects and deaths in the late ’50’s and early ’60’s. The (now) well-known negative impact of Thalidomide on the process of angiogenesis was in effect stunting the growth of fetuses.

It is, though, well-known that angiogenesis is what feeds cancer cells. A history of Thalidomide can be found here.


angiogenesis 

Blood vessel formation. Tumor angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. This process is caused by the release of chemicals by the tumor and by host cells near the tumor.

The National Institute of Health shows that Thalidomide is an inhibitor of angiogenesis. Thalidomide has some side effects beyond the obvious birth defect issue.

Thalidomide patent is still current, and the “Methods for delivering a drug to a patient while preventing the exposure of a fetus or other contraindicated individual to the drug” are clear.

Thalidomide as a treatment for cancer is being studied.

There exists an Angiogenesis Foundation which promotes a diet which does not contribute to angiogenesis. It is also in pursuit of effective drug treatments for cancer.

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