Lenalidomide in multiple myeloma: current role and future directions

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Apr;11(5):829-42. doi: 10.1517/14656561003645611.


Importance of the field: Lenalidomide and other new agents are improving survival of multiple myeloma patients. This review describes current data on lenalidomide in myeloma and how the unique properties of lenalidomide may lend its use in new settings, such as maintenance and preventive therapy.

Areas covered in this review: This review covers the activity of lenalidomide in multiple myeloma, efficacy in both newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory patients, how to manage effectively common adverse events observed with lenalidomide, and its potential use in new settings based on clinical trials published up to 2009.

What the reader will gain: This review describes the mechanism of action of lenalidomide in myeloma which provides the basis for its clinical use in newly diagnosed, relapsed/refractory, and high-risk smoldering myeloma in combination with other agents. Strategies to reduce or effectively manage myelosuppression and thromboembolic events, the main adverse events associated with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone therapy, are also described.

Take home message: Lenalidomide is an oral immunomodulatory drug that is highly effective in treating multiple myeloma, has a favorable safety profile and is now being evaluated as maintenance therapy, preventive therapy and in combination with other new agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Lenalidomide
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Survival Rate
  • Thalidomide / administration & dosage
  • Thalidomide / analogs & derivatives


  • Thalidomide
  • Dexamethasone
  • Lenalidomide