Cancer specialists at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center began using the drug Revlimid to treat a blood disorder and found that it may possibly eradicate myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a blood disorder more common than leukemia. Originally the drug was administered to MDS patients to reduce the need for transfusions. Researchers discovered that Revlimid had immune-boosting properties similar to those of thalidomide, but with fewer side effects. Six months into a study of 115 people carrying the most common chromosome abnormality that causes MDS, researchers discovered that 66% of the patients no longer required blood transfusions and, a year later, 75% did not require blood transfusions. According to the research team, the most surprising finding was that the genetic mutation that caused MDS diminished in 81% of the patients and disappeared completely in 51% of the patients. Dr. Bruce Johnson of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston remarked, "If you extrapolate what they saw, it's one of the signs for long remission."
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.
One study linked multiple pregnancies to an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation later in life, and another investigated the association between premature delivery and cardiovascular disease.
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs