Thalidomide and lenalidomide in multiple myeloma

Amitabha Mazumder, Sundar Jagannath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Multiple myeloma is a treatable but not necessarily a curable plasma-cell cancer. After decades of minimal progress, two new classes of drugs with novel mechanisms of action - immunomodulatory drugs (thalidomide and lenalidomide) and proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib) - have been introduced for the treatment of this disease. Thalidomide and lenalidomide have shown great activity as single agents and in combination with glucocorticoids for the treatment of chemotherapy-refractory myeloma. Thalidomide - and more recently lenalidomide - in combination with dexamethasone have shown promising results as induction therapy. These drugs can easily be combined with other chemotherapeutic agents to potentiate the anti-myeloma effect. The immunomodulatory function of these drugs can be successfully exploited to control residual disease during remission. Thus, both thalidomide and lenalidomide have ushered in a new era of optimism in the management of this incurable cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-780
Number of pages12
JournalBest Practice and Research in Clinical Haematology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • front-line therapy
  • immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs)
  • lenalidomide
  • multiple myeloma
  • relapsed or refractory myeloma
  • renal failure
  • thalidomide


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