Long-term durable response to lenalidomide in a patient with hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma

World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jun 14;20(22):7049-54. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i22.7049.


Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EH) is a rare tumor arising from the vascular endothelial cells of soft tissue or visceral organs. The most common visceral site is the liver, where it is often involved in a multifocal manner known as hepatic EH (HEH). Surgical resection with curative intent represents the gold standard therapy. When surgery is not feasible, or in cases of metastatic disease, no standard medical treatment is currently indicated. In small series, drugs with anti-angiogenic activity (such as bevacizumab, sorafenib, thalidomide, and lenalidomide) have been proposed with promising results. We describe a 73-year-old man with multifocal non-resectable HEH treated with lenalidomide. Disease status was evaluated by abdominal ultrasound and magnetic resonance every four months. The patient was treated for a total of 39 mo with prolonged disease stabilization and, at the time of writing, is still under treatment with a good tolerance profile. During a short period of treatment discontinuation, the disease showed slight progression that immediately resolved after the reintroduction of lenalidomide. Lenalidomide may represent a valid treatment option for HEH due to its anti-angiogenic and antineoplastic activities. This preliminary result merits further study in a large series.

Keywords: Abdominal ultrasound; Hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma; Lenalidomide; Liver; Magnetic resonance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Antigens, CD34 / analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Hemangioendothelioma, Epithelioid / blood supply*
  • Hemangioendothelioma, Epithelioid / chemistry
  • Hemangioendothelioma, Epithelioid / drug therapy*
  • Hemangioendothelioma, Epithelioid / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lenalidomide
  • Liver Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Liver Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Thalidomide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antigens, CD34
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Thalidomide
  • Lenalidomide