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Medical College of Wisconsin receives FDA grant
Date:10/26/2007

rth weight infants in the United States, says Dr. Drolet. We are treating more of these infants while uniform guidelines for therapy and methods used to measure response to treatment of infants with hemangiomas are lacking.

Infantile hemangiomas are a common, yet poorly understood vascular tumor. Most hemangiomas are found in the skin, but sometimes, they occur in other organs in the body such as the liver, spleen, intestine, airway, lungs and the central nervous system. Unlike most birthmarks, cutaneous hemangiomas are tumors that undergo cellular proliferation. They are either absent or barely evident at birth proliferating in the first few weeks to months of life, followed by a phase where they tend to decrease in size over several months to years.

Although most hemangiomas eventually resolve, many infants will suffer complications such as permanent disfigurement, ulceration, bleeding, loss of vision, airway obstruction, congestive heart failure and even death. Since hemangiomas can behave in vastly different ways and affect many different areas of the body, even physicians who are knowledgeable about hemangiomas and have access to diagnostic resources often find caring for affected infants challenging.

Drs. Drolet and Kelly will study infants diagnosed with large, complicated hemangiomas to determine and compare the effectiveness and safety of steroids in the current standard of care with a drug currently used for cancer.

Fifty infants with large and complicated hemangiomas will be randomly assigned to receive daily oral corticosteroid, prednisolone, or weekly IV vincristine for up to six months. The diagnostic, therapeutic and response criteria determined in this study may be used as a framework for future multi-institutional clinical trials to treat hemangiomas.

The study will provide answers as to which drug is more effective while at the same time providing opportunities for several additional investigators at the Medical College an
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Contact: Toranj Marphetia
toranj@mcw.edu
414-456-4700
Medical College of Wisconsin
Source:Eurekalert

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