This international phase III, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study assessed the efficacy and safety of lenalidomide in RBC transfusion-dependent patients with International Prognostic Scoring System lower-risk non-del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes ineligible for or refractory to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
In total, 239 patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to treatment with lenalidomide (n = 160) or placebo (n = 79) once per day (on 28-day cycles). The primary end point was the rate of RBC transfusion independence (TI) ≥ 8 weeks. Secondary end points were RBC-TI ≥ 24 weeks, duration of RBC-TI, erythroid response, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and safety.
RBC-TI ≥ 8 weeks was achieved in 26.9% and 2.5% of patients in the lenalidomide and placebo groups, respectively (P < .001). Ninety percent of patients achieving RBC-TI responded within 16 weeks of treatment. Median duration of RBC-TI with lenalidomide was 30.9 weeks (95% CI, 20.7 to 59.1). Transfusion reduction of ≥ 4 units packed RBCs, on the basis of a 112-day assessment, was 21.8% in the lenalidomide group and 0% in the placebo group. Higher response rates were observed in patients with lower baseline endogenous erythropoietin ≤ 500 mU/mL (34.0% v 15.5% for > 500 mU/mL). At week 12, mean changes in HRQoL scores from baseline did not differ significantly between treatment groups, which suggests that lenalidomide did not adversely affect HRQoL. Achievement of RBC-TI ≥ 8 weeks was associated with significant improvements in HRQoL (P < .01). The most common treatment-emergent adverse events were neutropenia and thrombocytopenia.
Lenalidomide yields sustained RBC-TI in 26.9% of RBC transfusion-dependent patients with lower-risk non-del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes ineligible for or refractory to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents. Response to lenalidomide was associated with improved HRQoL. Treatment-emergent adverse event data were consistent with the known safety profile of lenalidomide.