New Drug Shows Promise for Myeloma Patients

Studies found lenalidomide lengthened time disease did not worsen, but risk of second cancers was doubled

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The most significant and concerning side effect was an increased risk of a second cancer. In all three studies, the rate of second cancers was more than doubled in people taking lenalidomide. Low white blood cell counts were also more commonly associated with lenalidomide therapy.

Badros said that all cancer treatments have side effects, and that for the most part, lenalidomide didn't appear to have any unexpected effects, except for the increased rate of second cancers. That finding, he said, warrants further study.

More information

Learn more about multiple myeloma from the American Cancer Society.

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