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Genetic Control of Aging and Life Span

Thalidomide: an anticancer agent The main impetus for using thalidomide to treat patients with cancer came with the discovery of its anti-angiogenic potential. This also happened to coincide with the emerging concept that treatment could be aimed at the infrastructure that supports the growth of the tumour, rather than targeting tumour cells directly. Similarities between the angiogenic process in the promotion of tumour growth and in chronic inflammation also lent further support for a possible role for thalidomide as an anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of cancers. In particular, the antiTNF-α effects of thalidomide were thought to be relevant, as TNF-α seems to have a role in angiogenesis by upregulating the expression of endothelial integrin, which is crucial for this process27. Finally, it is well established that the increase of TNF-α in the serum of patients with cancer is often associated with advanced disease, so using thalidomide to reduce these levels might prove to be beneficial in the treatment of patients