Maintenance treatment for 2 years with lenalidomide can significantly prolong progression-free survival in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who achieved a complete or partial response when treated with first-line R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone). This is according to a new study published in Cancer Medicine.

“This study identifies lenalidomide as an effective maintenance therapy in responding DLBCL patients with R-CHOP induction treatment, with controllable toxicity,” the researchers wrote.

Read more about the prognosis of DLBCL

The aim of the study was to assess the clinical effect of maintenance therapy with the immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide in patients with DLBCL who responded to R-CHOP treatment. 

The team, led by Kaiyang Ding, retrospectively analyzed 141 patients with DLBCL who obtained a complete or partial response after 6 to 8 cycles of R-CHOP treatment from January 1, 2015 to July 31, 2019. 

Of these 141 patients, 50 received maintenance treatment with 25 mg of lenalidomide per day for 10 days, with a cycle of 21 days and a course of 2 years, while the remaining 91 received drug-free maintenance treatment.

The results showed that the 2-year progression-free survival of patients receiving lenalidomide was 84%, while it was 53% in those who did not receive the drug. 

The median progression-free survival of patients not receiving lenalidomide was 42.9 months, and it was not reached in patients receiving the drug. 

There were no remarkable differences in terms of overall survival between patients who received lenalidomide therapy and those who did not. 

A small proportion (5.5%) of patients who did not receive lenalidomide had central nervous system recurrence, while none of those receiving lenalidomide experienced this. 

The most common grade 1 or 2 adverse reactions were neutropenia and cutaneous reactions, and the most frequent grade 3 or 4 adverse reaction was neutropenia following treatment with lenalidomide.


Wang X, Yu L, Jiang X, Ding K. Real-world data for lenalidomide maintenance in responding patients of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Cancer Med. Published online March 13, 2023. doi:10.1002/cam4.5790