Thalidomide (Thalomid) is an immunemodulating agent and a potent teratogen, and research has suggested that the agent’s teratogenicity might stem from its ability to inhibit angiogenesis and neovascularization. Its numerous mechanisms have the potential to inhibit tumor growth, making it an attractive option for treating cancer. Topotecan hydrochloride (Hycamtin) is a topoisomerase 1 inhibitor that binds to and stabilizes topoisomerase–DNA complexes and induces double-strand DNA breakage. It has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer.
The oral chemotherapeutic agent thalidomide appears to be comparable in response and quality of life in several small studies, compared to single agent intravenous chemotherapy in the population of heavily pretreated patients with ovarian cancer. A 2006 study, released at the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 37th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer, researchers found the addition of thalidomide to topotecan for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer significantly increases the response to therapy and the duration of progression free survival without additional toxicity.
Mary E. Gordinier, Don S. Dizon, Sherry Weitzen, Paul A. Disilvestro, Richard G. Moore, C.O. Granai. Journal of Palliative Medicine. February 1, 2007, 10(1): 61-66.
TA. Burton Thalidomide plus topotecan for recurrent ovarian cancer?
The Lancet Oncology, Volume 9, Issue 3, Pages 209-209, 2008