Revlimid for Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) – pro

Lenalidomide, an oral immunomodulatory agent, has received approval in the USA from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) classified by the International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) as low risk or intermediate-1 risk and with a deletion 5q (del(5q)) cytogenetic abnormality. Although some patients with del(5q) have a relatively good prognosis, all del(5q) patients will become transfusion-dependent at some point during the course of their disease. The results of two clinical trials in more than 160 patients with MDS have demonstrated clear therapeutic benefits of lenalidomide, with >60% of patients achieving independence from transfusion during therapy, irrespective of age, prior therapy, sex, or disease-risk assessment. The recommendations are for this subset of MDS pateints; in other subgroups responses are around 15-20%. Guidelines do not require a prior attempt to treatment with erytropoietin to use Revlimid, but they do require an assessment and treatmetn based on its results.

Revlimid is very teratogenic and has been associated with increased risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Patients should receive education on the symptoms associated with these conditions, and seek medical help immediately if symptoms appear. It is unknown if prophylactic anticoagulant therapy is effective in reducing this risk; any such treatment course should be administered under the close supervision of a medical professional.

Giagounidis AA, Germing U, Strupp C, Hildebrandt B, Heinsch M, Aul C. Prognosis of patients with del(5q) MDS and complex karyotype and the possible role of lenalidomide in this patient subgroupAnnals of Hematology 2005 Sep;84(9):569-71. Epub 2005 May 13.

Dredge K, Horsfall R, Robinson SP, Zhang LH, Lu L, Tang Y, Shirley MA, Muller G, Schafer P, Stirling D, Dalgleish AG, Bartlett JB. Orally administered lenalidomide (CC-5013) is anti-angiogenic in vivo and inhibits endothelial cell migration and Akt phosphorylation in vitro Microvascular Research 2005 Jan;69(1-2):56-63

List A, Kurtin S, Roe DJ, Buresh A, Mahadevan D, Fuchs D, Rimsza L, Heaton R, Knight R, Zeldis JB. Efficacy of lenalidomide in myelodysplastic syndromes New England Journal of Medicine2005 Feb 10;352(6):549-57

NCCN , MDS-9 2015


Notes: Calculate IPSS score here:

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