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
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 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.