Thalidomide and cancer?

J Mark Elwood
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05267.x
Published online: 21 April 2003

To the Editor: McBride reports that there were four deaths from cancer before the age of 40 years in a group of 480 thalidomide-affected people in the United Kingdom, an approximate cumulative mortality rate of 0.83%.1 He compares this with the annual death rate in the under-40-years age group, and concludes that the rate is increased almost 100 times in those affected by thalidomide.


  • 1. McBride W. Thalidomide and cancer [letter]. Med J Aust 2002; 177; 278.<eMJA full text>
  • 2. Quinn M, Babb P, Brock A, et al. Cancer trends in England and Wales 1950–1999. London: The Stationary Office, 2001.


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