Review Article

Approaches to Managing Safety With Lenalidomide in Hematologic Malignancies

Susan Blumel, RN, BSN, and Jackie Broadway-Duren, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

From University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, and MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Authors' disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Susan Blumel, RN, BSN, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-7680. E-mail: sblumel@unmc.edu


J Adv Pract Oncol 2014;5:269–279 | DOI: 10.6004/jadpro.2014.5.4.4 | © 2014 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

Abstract

Lenalidomide is an oral immunomodulatory agent approved in relapsed multiple myeloma with dexamethasone, for transfusion-dependent anemia in myelodysplastic syndrome associated with deletion 5q, and in relapsed/progressive mantle cell lymphoma following bortezomib. In recent clinical trials, lenalidomide has shown promising activity in hematologic malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Starting doses and dosing schedules vary by malignancy, with lenalidomide started at a lower dose for CLL than for NHL or multiple myeloma. Certain adverse events (AEs) are common across tumor types (e.g., neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, fatigue), whereas others are more often associated with CLL patients (e.g., tumor lysis syndrome and tumor flare reaction). Effective management requires awareness of these differences as well as appropriate prophylaxis, monitoring, and treatment of AEs. This article reviews the efficacy and safety of lenalidomide in CLL and NHL, focusing on approaches for the advanced practitioner to improve patient quality of life through optimal management of side effects. With these steps, lenalidomide can be administered safely, at the best starting doses and with minimal dose interruptions or reductions across hematologic malignancies.




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