Paul Nicholls is diagnosed with a blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma which caused him to have fragile bones; his illness attacks his bone marrow and is closely related to leukemia. Before returning into remission, doctors told Paul he would become paraplegic.
Thalidomide was once a drug given to pregnant woman to treat morning sickness and as a sleep agent; it has returned as a way to treat blood cancer. Freddie Astbury, a surviving victim of misuse of the drug, explains how regulation of the drug is important.
Laureen Campbell suffers from blood cancer which has made her bones so fragile any movement puts her at risk of death; after her thalidomide treatment she went into remission and lives a quality life. Paul founded the charity Team Continuum which raises support for cancer patients like himself.
Credits: A New Lease on Life
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The "bête noire" of Big Pharma is making a comeback—this time as a treatment for blood cancers. Thalidomide is the drug best known for causing deformities in thousands of children in Europe and the U.S., but in May 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved thalidomide for use in combination with another drug, dexamethasone, to treat newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Other stage 3 trials should soon lead to new licenses for more cancers. Drug dosage is the key issue. We film with Paul Nichols at the New York marathon. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and entered the Revlimid trial in January 2006. He has been in full remission since then and now takes the drug on a monthly prescription. For Paul, thalidomide is a miracle drug.
Length: 21 minutes
Copyright date: ©2008
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