Authors: Brunner AM, Weng S, Cronin A, Fathi AT, Habib AR, Stone R, Graubert T, Steensma DP, Abel GA
Title: Impact of lenalidomide use among non-transfusion dependent patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.
Journal: Am J Hematol 93(9):1119-1126
Date: 2018 Sep
PubMed ID: 30033577
Abstract: Chemotherapies approved for defined subgroups promise personalized oncologic care, but their off-label impact is unclear. Lenalidomide is approved for lower-risk, transfusion-dependent (TD) myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) with del(5q), but frequently used in MDS outside this indication. We characterized lenalidomide use and outcomes among non-TD patients with MDS. Patients 65 or older diagnosed with MDS between 2007 and 2013 were identified using SEER; linked Medicare claims were evaluated for transfusions, lenalidomide use, and incident toxicities. TD was ≥2 transfusion episodes within an 8-week period; responses were transfusion independence (TI) and ≥50% transfusion reduction (minor response). We compared overall survival for non-TD patients receiving lenalidomide versus those not receiving lenalidomide, matched on disease and patient characteristics. We identified 676 patients who had received lenalidomide, including 275 (40.7%) TD and 401 (59.3%) non-TD; 18.5% (125/676) had zero claims for RBC transfusion prior to receiving lenalidomide. Incident toxicities among patients prescribed lenalidomide were similar in TD and non-TD groups, except incident thromboembolic events were higher among non-TD patients (10.8% vs. 6.0%, P = .04). Comparing 191 non-TD patients receiving lenalidomide within 6 months of MDS diagnosis to risk-matched MDS controls, lenalidomide was not associated with improved OS (P = .78). Among TD patients (n = 275), 31% achieved TI, and 30% achieved minor hematologic response, with a median time to TI of 4.1 weeks. In conclusion, we confirmed the benefit of lenalidomide among TD patients with MDS; however, many non-TD patients also received lenalidomide. These patients experienced accompanying toxicity without evidence of benefit in terms of transfusion needs or overall survival.