Thalidomide and its close analogs (lenalidomide and pomalidomide) are widely used to treat a variety of diseases, such as multiple myeloma and other cancers as well as the symptoms of several inflammatory disorders. However, thalidomide is known for its teratogenic adverse effects when first clinically introduced in the 1950s, and is associated with drowsiness and peripheral neuropathy. Hence, there is intense interest to synthesize, identify and develop safer analogs.
Researchers at the National Cancer Instituten synthesized novel thalidomide analogs that demonstrate clinical potential without being teratogenic, as initially evaluated in in vivo zebrafish and chicken embryo model systems and in cell culture. These new compounds differentially provide potent anti-angiogenesis and/or anti-inflammatory action. The agents have potential for development of new cancer therapies and treatment of a number of neurological and systemic disorders involving chronic inflammation and elevated TNF-alpha levels.
- Cancer therapeutics
- Inflammatory disorders such as Crohn's disease, sarcoidosis, graft-versus-host disease, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Neuroinflammatory disorders (acute: traumatic brain injury and stroke; chronic: Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis)