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Lenalidomide (Molecule of the Month for May 2017)


Lenalidomide is a derivative of thalidomide introduced in 2004. It was initially intended as a treatment for multiple myeloma, for which thalidomide is an accepted therapeutic treatment. Lenalidomide has also shown efficacy in the class of hematological disorders known as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Along with several other drugs developed in recent years, lenalidomide has significantly improved overall survival in myeloma (which formerly carried a poor prognosis), although toxicity remains an issue for users

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood, characterized by accumulation of a plasma cell clone in the bone marrow. Lenalidomide is one of the novel drug agents used to treat multiple myeloma. It is a more potent molecular analog of thalidomide, which inhibits tumor angiogenesis, tumor secreted cytokines and tumor proliferation through the induction of apoptosis. Lenalidomide is undergoing clinical trial as a treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and solid tumor cancers, such as carcinoma of the pancreas.

Lenalidomide costs $163,381 per year for the average U.S. patient. Revlimid made almost $3.8bn for Celgene in 2012. In 2013 the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) rejected lenalidomide for "use in the treatment of people with a specific type of the bone marrow disorder myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)" in England and Scotland, arguing that Celgene "did not provide enough evidence to justify the 3,780 per month (USD$5746.73) price-tag of lenalidomide for use in the treatment of people with a specific type of the bone marrow disorder myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)".

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Lenalidomide 3D model

click on the picture of  Lenalidomide above to interact
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Lenalidomide structure
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Picture of Lenalidomide


Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for May 2017 )

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