What is the role of lenalidomide in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)?

Updated: Jul 24, 2018
  • Author: Emmanuel C Besa, MD; Chief Editor: Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, FRCP, FACP  more...
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Lenalidomide is a 4-amino-glutarimide thalidomide analogue that is more potent than thalidomide but lacks its neurotoxicity and teratogenic effects. It is active in patients with MDS categorized as low risk or intermediate risk–1 according to the International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS).

Lenalidomide is the drug of choice in MDS with 5q deletion syndrome. In particular, patients with the karyotype characterized by deletion 5q31 show the best response. List et al reported an erythroid response in 76% of these patients, with 67% no longer requiring transfusions; 73% of their 148 patients had a cytogenetic response, 45% had a complete cytogenetic remission, and 36% achieving a normal bone marrow histologically. [28]

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