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ASH 2023: Lenalidomide as a CLL Treatment
Posted: Jan 29, 2024
ASH 2023: Lenalidomide as a CLL Treatment image

Dr. Kerry Rogers, a CLL expert and associate professor at Ohio State University, shared findings with us at the 2023 ASH conference from a study that discussed how a medicine called lenalidomide helped CLL patients. Watch her interview or read the summary of her research below. 

What is Lenalidomide?

Lenalidomide (Revlimid) is a medication primarily used in treating multiple myeloma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Interestingly, it's also effective in CLL, though it's not commonly used for this type of blood cancer. 

Studying Lenalidomide for CLL

Over a decade ago, researchers at Dr. Rogers' institution began a study involving CLL patients who did not yet need traditional treatment. Typically, CLL patients are observed until they develop significant symptoms like enlarged lymph nodes or low blood counts. This study involved patients with high-risk CLL features, meaning they were likely to need treatment soon but were not there yet. These individuals were given lenalidomide, despite it not being a standard CLL treatment. 

Study Findings

The results from the study showed:

  • Many patients limited their CLL from progressing for years using lenalidomide.
  • Using lenalidomide did not significantly increase the risk of developing other forms of cancer. Some non-melanoma skin cancers were noted, but these were treatable.
  • There was no increase in other blood cancers or severe infections. In fact, CLL patients on lenalidomide had a lower incidence of severe infections than patients on traditional CLL treatments.

Why is This Important for CLL Patients?

As a CLL patient, knowing about these developments is empowering. It means:

  • Potential alternative treatment options: This study opens the door to alternative treatments for CLL patients. 
  • Safety for long-term use: These results demonstrate that long-term use of lenalidomide for CLL patients can be safe and doesn't dramatically increase the risk of other cancers or severe infections. 

What Does This Mean for Future CLL Treatment?

Dr. Rogers stated that in the future, she would like to see more research on treating CLL patients with low doses of lenalidomide, such as in cases where CLL patients receive lenalidomide while in watch-and-wait, or as a follow-up therapy after standard CLL treatment to help them remain in remission.  

Conclusion

In conclusion, Dr. Kerry Rogers' research on lenalidomide offers new hope and possibilities for CLL patients. Staying informed about such developments is important in understanding your treatment options and discussing them with your healthcare provider.

Interested in Accelerating Research? Join HealthTree Cure Hub!

Are you interested in accelerating research toward a cure for CLL? We have created a powerful patient data portal named HealthTree Cure Hub for this very purpose. We invite you to join the 12,000-and-counting blood cancer patients who are collaborating with specialists through research surveys and studies in HealthTree Cure Hub. YOU are the key to improving CLL care. We are grateful for your time and support in helping us progress toward a CLL cure. Create your free HealthTree Cure Hub account by visiting the link below!

Create My HealthTree Cure Hub Account

The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

 

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, sewing, and cooking.

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