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The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Oct 31, 2011 (Issue 1376)
The surprising observation that oral administration of the beta-blocker propranolol (Inderal, and others) can stop the growth and rapidly cause the involution of disfiguring or life-threatening infantile hemangiomas1 has quickly led to a series of confirmatory observations and now a controlled trial. The mechanism of this effect is not known, but is thought to be related to down-regulation of the RAF mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway resulting in inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and apoptosis in capillary endothelial cells. The response of infantile...