Early intervention with lenalidomide in patients with high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Shanmugapriya Thangavadivel, Qiuhong Zhao, Narendranath Epperla, Lindsey Rike, Xiaokui Mo, Mohamed Badawi, Darlene M. Bystry, Mitch A. Phelps, Leslie A. Andritsos, Kerry A. Rogers, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer A. Woyach, John C. Byrd, Farrukh T. Awan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Infectious complications constitute a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Patients respond poorly to vaccines, particularly pneumococcal polysaccharide and influenza vaccines. In addition, patients with genetically high-risk disease are at increased risk for early disease progression and death. Lenalidomide, an oral immunomodulatory agent with demonstrated clinical activity in CLL, can potentially restore immune system dysfunction associated with CLL while improving disease outcomes. Patients and Methods: Phase II study randomized 49 patients with genetically high-risk CLL or small lymphocytic lymphoma [SLL; defined as unmutated Ig heavy chain variable region, deletion(17p) or (11q), and/or complex abnormal karyotype], to receive lenalidomide either concurrent (arm A) or sequential to (arm B) two doses of 13-valent protein-conjugated pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) administered 2 months apart, in patients not meeting International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia treatment criteria. Results: Four serotypes (3, 4, 5, 6B) achieved the additional seroprotection definition of a fourfold increase in arm A, and six serotypes (3, 4, 5, 6B, 19A, 19F) in arm B. All patients achieved the defined concentration of 0.35 mg/mL for at least one serotype tested. No significant difference was observed with the addition of lenalidomide. At median time on treatment of 3.6 years, median progression-free survival (PFS) was 5.8 years [95% confidence interval (CI), 3.1-not reached]. PFS at 1, 2, and 3 years was 85% (95% CI, 72-93), 79% (95% CI, 64-88), and 72% (95% CI, 57-83), respectively. Conclusions: Lenalidomide is efficacious with manageable toxicities as an early intervention strategy in patients with high-risk CLL, but did not enhance humoral response to PCV13 vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6187-6195
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Early intervention with lenalidomide in patients with high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this