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Propranolol a new drug against Rhabdomyosarcoma ?

In a recent "letter to the editor" in press in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Rojina Shilpakar, Gottfried Lemperle, and Thomas Mentzel from respectively the Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital, Sakhu-Kathmandu, Nepal, the Division of Plastic Surgery, San Diego School of Medicine, University of California, and Frankfurt am Main Institute for Dermatopathology, Friedrichshafen, Germany report an Unexpected Effect of Propranolol and Prednisolone on Infantile Facial Rhabdomyosarcoma.

A 14-month-old Nepalese infant had developed a rapidly growing facial tumor originating from a dark spot on her upper eyelid. A cavernous hemangioma was suspected and treated with high doses of propranolol and prednisolone. Remission was dramatic. Histology confirmed alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. This case illustrate the serendipitous discovery that after hemangioma, angiosarcoma and neuroblastoma, betablockers (propranolol) might have a broad spectrum of action and could also be an interesting new drug for patient with rhabdomyosarcoma.