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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Hodgkin Lymphoma, Version 1.2015


Overview of cancer treatments Immunomodulators


The immune system is your body’s natural

defense against infection and disease.

Immunomodulators are drugs that modify

different parts of the immune system.

Lenalidomide is an immunomodulator used to

treat classical Hodgkin lymphoma that was not

cured by first-time treatment.

Lenalidomide is made in pill form. It is given

in cycles of treatment days followed by days

of rest. A cycle may consist of 3 weeks of

treatment and 1 week of rest. Cycles may

repeat until the cancer grows or side effects

become severe.

Lenalidomide treats cancer in more than one

way. As an immunomodulator, it boosts the

immune system. It also helps stop cancer

cells from increasing in number. Third, it also

works like a type of targeted therapy called

angiogenesis inhibitors. These drugs stop

the growth of new blood vessels that would

provide food (nutrients) to the cancer.

Common side effects include low blood

counts, diarrhea, itching, rash, and fatigue.

Serious but less common side effects include

blood clots, bleeding disorders, loss of vision,

and skin cancer. Ask your treatment team for a

full list of side effects.

Supportive care

Supportive care doesn’t aim to treat

cancer but aims to improve quality of

life. It is also called palliative care. It

can address many needs. One example

is treatment for physical and emotional

symptoms. As such, you may receive

Mesna to protect against the side

effects of chemotherapy. Ask your

treatment team for other ways to treat


Supportive care can also help with

treatment decisions as you may

have more than one option. It can

also help with coordination of care

between health providers. Talk with

your treatment team to plan the best

supportive care for you.