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NCI Cancer Center News

Scientists discover how thalidomide-like drugs fight cancer

  • Posted: November 29, 2013

Despite its tragic legacy of causing birth defects 50 years ago, thalidomide — and newer drugs derived from it — has been reborn as an effective treatment for multiple myeloma and other cancers. How they act to slow cancer's spread, however, has long defied explanation. In a new report, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they have discovered that the drugs kill multiple myeloma cells by a mechanism that's different from the way that they cause birth defects.

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