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      Mechanism of action of lenalidomide in hematological malignancies

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          Immunomodulatory drugs lenalidomide and pomalidomide are synthetic compounds derived by modifying the chemical structure of thalidomide to improve its potency and reduce its side effects. Lenalidomide is a 4-amino-glutamyl analogue of thalidomide that lacks the neurologic side effects of sedation and neuropathy and has emerged as a drug with activity against various hematological and solid malignancies. It is approved by FDA for clinical use in myelodysplastic syndromes with deletion of chromosome 5q and multiple myeloma. Lenalidomide has been shown to be an immunomodulator, affecting both cellular and humoral limbs of the immune system. It has also been shown to have anti-angiogenic properties. Newer studies demonstrate its effects on signal transduction that can partly explain its selective efficacy in subsets of MDS. Even though the exact molecular targets of lenalidomide are not well known, its activity across a spectrum of neoplastic conditions highlights the possibility of multiple target sites of action.

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          Identification of RPS14 as a 5q- syndrome gene by RNA interference screen

          Somatic chromosomal deletions in cancer are thought to indicate the location of tumor suppressor genes, whereby complete loss of gene function occurs through biallelic deletion, point mutation, or epigenetic silencing, thus fulfilling Knudson's two-hit hypothesis. 1 In many recurrent deletions, however, such biallelic inactivation has not been found. One prominent example is the 5q- syndrome, a subtype of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) characterized by a defect in erythroid differentiation. 2 Here, we describe an RNA interference (RNAi)-based approach to discovery of the 5q- disease gene. We find that partial loss of function of the ribosomal protein RPS14 phenocopies the disease in normal hematopoietic progenitor cells, and moreover that forced expression of RPS14 rescues the disease phenotype in patient-derived bone marrow cells. In addition, we identified a block in the processing of pre-rRNA in RPS14 deficient cells that is highly analogous to the functional defect in Diamond Blackfan Anemia, linking the molecular pathophysiology of the 5q- syndrome to a congenital bone marrow failure syndrome. These results indicate that the 5q- syndrome is caused by a defect in ribosomal protein function, and suggests that RNAi screening is an effective strategy for identifying causal haploinsufficiency disease genes.
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            Efficacy of lenalidomide in myelodysplastic syndromes.

            Ineffective erythropoiesis is the hallmark of myelodysplastic syndromes. Management of the anemia caused by ineffective erythropoiesis is difficult. In patients with myelodysplastic syndromes and symptomatic anemia, we evaluated the safety and hematologic activity of lenalidomide, a novel analogue of thalidomide. Forty-three patients with transfusion-dependent or symptomatic anemia received lenalidomide at doses of 25 or 10 mg per day or of 10 mg per day for 21 days of every 28-day cycle. All patients either had had no response to recombinant erythropoietin or had a high endogenous erythropoietin level with a low probability of benefit from such therapy. The response to treatment was assessed after 16 weeks. Neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, the most common adverse events, with respective frequencies of 65 percent and 74 percent, necessitated the interruption of treatment or a dose reduction in 25 patients (58 percent). Other adverse events were mild and infrequent. Twenty-four patients had a response (56 percent): 20 had sustained independence from transfusion, 1 had an increase in the hemoglobin level of more than 2 g per deciliter, and 3 had more than a 50 percent reduction in the need for transfusions. The response rate was highest among patients with a clonal interstitial deletion involving chromosome 5q31.1 (83 percent, as compared with 57 percent among those with a normal karyotype and 12 percent among those with other karyotypic abnormalities; P=0.007) and patients with lower prognostic risk. Of 20 patients with karyotypic abnormalities, 11 had at least a 50 percent reduction in abnormal cells in metaphase, including 10 (50 percent) with a complete cytogenetic remission. After a median follow-up of 81 weeks, the median duration of transfusion independence had not been reached and the median hemoglobin level was 13.2 g per deciliter (range, 11.5 to 15.8). Lenalidomide has hematologic activity in patients with low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes who have no response to erythropoietin or who are unlikely to benefit from conventional therapy. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Thalidomide and immunomodulatory derivatives augment natural killer cell cytotoxicity in multiple myeloma.

              The antiangiogenic activity of thalidomide (Thal), coupled with an increase in bone marrow angiogenesis in multiple myeloma (MM), provided the rationale for the use of Thal in MM. Previously, the direct anti-MM activity of Thal and its analogues (immunomodulatory drugs, IMiDs) on MM cells was demonstrated, suggesting multiple mechanisms of action. In this study, the potential immunomodulatory effects of Thal/IMiDs in MM were examined. It was demonstrated that Thal/IMiDs do not induce T-cell proliferation alone but act as costimulators to trigger proliferation of anti-CD3-stimulated T cells from patients with MM, accompanied by an increase in interferon-gamma and IL-2 secretion. However, an increase in autologous T-cell killing of patient MM cells could not be demonstrated. A role for natural killer (NK)- and LAK-cell-mediated killing is suggested because IL-2-primed peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) treated with Thal/IMiDs demonstrated significantly increased lysis of MM cell lines. Cold target inhibition assays suggested NK- rather than LAK-cell-mediated killing. Furthermore, this killing was not major histocompatibility complex-class restricted, and the depletion of CD56(+) cells blocked the drug-induced MM cell lysis. It was significant that increased killing of patient MM cells by autologous PBMCs treated with Thal/IMiDs was also observed. Although the in vivo relevance of NK-cell-mediated MM cell killing is unknown, phenotypic analysis performed in MM patients receiving Thal therapy demonstrated an increase in CD3(-)CD56(+) cells in patients responding to therapy. Thus in vitro and in vivo data support the hypothesis that Thal may mediate its anti-MM effect, at least in part, by modulating NK cell number and function.

                Author and article information

                J Hematol Oncol
                Journal of Hematology & Oncology
                BioMed Central
                12 August 2009
                : 2
                : 36
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, USA
                [2 ]Harrison Department of Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
                [3 ]Developmental and Molecular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, USA
                Copyright © 2009 Kotla et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Oncology & Radiotherapy


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