Scientists discover how thalidomide-like drugs fight cancer
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.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 68 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.