An Overview of Lenalidomide in Combination with Rituximab for the Treatment of Adult Patients with Follicular Lymphoma: The Evidence to Date

Drug Des Devel Ther. 2021 Sep 7;15:3809-3820. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S281614. eCollection 2021.


Follicular lymphoma (FL) is an indolent (low-grade) malignancy of B cells and is among the most common hematological cancers affecting adults. Its clinical presentation, natural course, and severity are highly variable. Management of FL depends on the clinical setting; most patients require multiple lines of treatment. Chemoimmunotherapy is the standard of care for FL patients needing treatment; however, alternative treatments are limited for refractory patients or those unfit for chemoimmunotherapy. Multiple alternatives to chemoimmunotherapy for FL are being developed, with some showing significant promise. Lenalidomide combination with rituximab (LR) is among the most successful and extensively studied novel approaches. LR has been compared head-to-head in clinical trials with rituximab monotherapy and chemoimmunotherapy in the frontline and to lenalidomide or rituximab monotherapy in the relapsed or refractory setting for the treatment of FL. Initial reports of these nine trials have been published in the last decade, and their long-term data will be available in the coming years. LR offered superior efficacy to either lenalidomide or rituximab monotherapy alone. The RELEVANCE trial compared the efficacy of LR with chemoimmunotherapy among 1030 FL patients and demonstrated similar efficacy with a different side effect profile. Myelosuppression, rash, and fatigue were among the significant adverse events. Most patients treated with LR received thromboprophylaxis. This paper aims to summarize and comment on the published evidence regarding LR treatment for FL through a literature review. The clinical trials will be presented in detail, and methodological differences complicating their comparisons will be discussed.

Keywords: R2; chemo-free; follicular lymphoma; lenalidomide; rituximab.

Publication types

  • Review