Sharp Blue: Thalidomide


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We had another meeting with Dr Newman, my dad’s oncologist today. He had the results of the CT scan and they weren’t good. The cancerous regions in his lungs which were “very small” at the time of the last scan are now “substantially enlarged”. This means that the interferon isn’t working. So now they’ve switched him to thalidomide. In clinical trials, this hasn’t fully reversed the progress of metastatic renal cell carcinoma, but it has partially reversed or stabilised the condition in up to 64% of cases. The period of stabilisation has been at least 15 months. While I’m pretty upset that they’re no longer aiming for a full cure, I think that at the moment I’d settle for anything that keeps my dad alive. After all, at least fifteen months gives time for something better to come along - and there are thalidomide derivatives that are up to ten times as effective. Dr Newman is also going to phone someone he knows to see if there are any clinical trials we could get into too.

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