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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2006 Feb;15(2):171-9.

Current therapeutic uses of lenalidomide in multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Thalidomide has demonstrated a broad spectrum of pharmacological and immunological effects, with potential therapeutic applications that span a wide spectrum of diseases: cancer and related conditions; infectious diseases; autoimmune diseases; dermatological diseases; and other disorders such as sarcoidosis, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Immunomodulatory derivative lenalidomide has more potent antitumour and anti-inflammatory effects. The molecular mechanisms of antitumour activity of lenalidomide have been extensively studied in multiple myeloma (MM). It directly induces growth arrest and/or apoptosis of even drug-resistant MM cells; inhibits binding of MM cells to bone marrow extracellular matrix proteins and stromal cells; modulates cytokine secretion and inhibits angiogenesis in the bone marrow milieu; and augments host antitumour immunity. Importantly, lenalidomide induces significant clinical responses even in patients with relapsed/refractory MM. Therefore, lenalidomide represents a new class of antitumour agents that is useful in the treatment of MM. Lenalidomide has received fast track designation from the FDA for the treatment of MM and myelodysplastic syndromes.

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