, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 133-137,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Nov 2006

Lenalidomide in the context of complex karyotype or interrupted treatment: case reviews of del(5q)MDS patients with unexpected responses


Lenalidomide has particular activity in patients with transfusion-dependent del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), but mechanistic information is limited regarding the relationship between erythroid and cytogenetic responses. We reviewed medical records from three distinct subgroups of del(5q) MDS patients who had unexpected effects with lenalidomide treatment: 1. two patients with complex karyotypes who achieved both cytogenetic remissions and transfusion independence; 2. two patients with 5q- syndrome who took lenalidomide for less than 12 weeks but remained transfusion independent for 15+ months still displaying del(5q) metaphases after 6 and 12 months; and 3. one patient who was a non-responder on lenalidomide during treatment but became transfusion independent for 13+ months after discontinuation. All but the latter patient in this series had reduction of affected metaphases, suggesting that erythroid responses might be mediated by result from partial or complete suppression of the malignant clone, either directly or indirectly through modulation of the bone marrow microenvironment. These clinical observations illustrate the heterogeneity of del(5q)MDS pathogenesis and the diversity of lenalidomide responses within this patient subset.