I have now been using Revlimid (lenalidomide) for 35 consecutive months and it is still working! But how does it work? Lenalidomide is an immune-modulating therapy that acts to improve the immune system. Administered orally, lenalidomide also helps block the blood supply to cancer cells so that tumors cannot grow. Lenalidomide is molecular variation, or analogue, of it’s predessessor, thalidomide. Pomalidomide (Actimid), is an analogue to lenalidomide. I have passed along a lot of good news about pomalidomide recently. Thalidomide (Thalomid) is “old news.” Myeloma docs have been using thalidomide for eight years or so against multiple myeloma. The great news is, although all three of these drugs are similar, they all have the potential of working at different times in the same patient. Translated: If you start using lenalidomide and it eventually stops working, you have a great chance of using pamalidomide successfully as soon as it becomes available. And if pomalidomide stops working, a patient might go back to Revlimid and, even after the other two similar, more advanced drugs stop working, thalidomide may work again anyway.
Myeloma therapy is all about buying time and doing whatever works. Fortunately for many of us, a number of different therapies and therapy combinations do work.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat