Response to thalidomide in progressive multiple myeloma is not mediated by inhibition of angiogenic cytokine secretion

Br J Haematol. 2001 Dec;115(3):605-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.2001.03142.x.


Thalidomide (Thal) is a drug with anti-angiogenic properties. To explore whether the effect of Thal on angiogenesis is associated with a reduction of angiogenic cytokine levels in progressive multiple myeloma (MM), plasma levels of basic fibroblast growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin 6, tumour necrosis factor-alpha and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) were measured in 51 patients at 0, 3 and 6 months of Thal therapy. After 6 months of treatment, 26 patients were considered to be responsive to Thal therapy, including 17 minimal responses, eight partial responses and one complete response. Only HGF (decreasing, P = 0.02) in the group of responsive patients showed a statistically significant change over a period of 6 months. Because HGF levels are known to correlate to MM tumour burden, we conclude that the mechanism of action of Thal in MM is not caused by a specific inhibition of angiogenic cytokine secretion.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / blood
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / blood
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / blood
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Lymphokines / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / blood
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / physiopathology
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Cytokines
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lymphokines
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Thalidomide
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor