Time-1950s-1960s. The Drug-thalidomide.
The event : Thousands of children worldwide were born with serious disabilities.
Reason : Their mothers had taken the drug when they were pregnant.
Ever since, the drug was banned from use all these years.
However, recent research has shown that the drug can be used in the treatment of diseases for which a cure has so far been difficult to find - such as leprosy and cancer. The USA and Australia will be the first countries to start re-using the drug for such serious diseases after a gap of nearly 5 decades. Scientists are also studying its use in some illnesses associated with the dreaded human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) infection (AIDS)
A team led by Dr Siow Ming Lee of the University College London, is studying the use of this drug in lung cancer. A research team at the Hunter Haematology Research Group at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Newcastle, Australia, has recently completed a study of the drug in a type of blood cancer. The results from both these studies have shown that the drug may help treat these patients.