Use of thalidomide to diminish growth velocity in a life-threatening congenital intracranial hemangioma: Case report

Melissa Frei-Jones, Robert C. McKinstry, Arie Perry, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Sung Park Tae, Joshua B. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infantile or capillary hemangioma is the most common vascular tumor of childhood. The tumors most frequently affect the head and neck area, but rare cases of intracranial lesions have been reported. Their natural history is marked by initial rapid growth velocity followed by a plateau and, in most cases, subsequent involution. Although the lesions are considered benign, 10% of affected children develop life-threatening complications (mortality rate 20-80% in this subgroup). When surgical intervention or other methods of local control are not possible, therapeutic options are limited. Corticosteroids have been the mainstay of therapy but therapeutic response is not predictable and the infectious risk is not negligible. Interferon α-2a may also be effective but has significant toxicities. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of hemangiomas, and antiangiogenesis agents are being evaluated in the treatment of these tumors. Thalidomide may be an ideal therapy for life-threatening hemangiomas because it inhibits new blood vessel formation by antagonizing both the bFGF and VEGF pathways and has a more acceptable toxicity profile than other agents. The authors present the case of an infant born with a life-threatening, unresectable intracranial hemangioma in which treatment with thalidomide resulted in a good clinical outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Intracranial hemangioma
  • Thalidomide
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

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