NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma, Version 1.2016
Overview of cancer treatments Steroids | Immunomodulators
Corticosteroids are called steroids for short. They
are a type of drug that is often used to relieve
inflammation. Steroids also are toxic to lymphoma
cells and therefore have strong anti-cancer effects.
Steroids used to treat peripheral T-cell lymphoma are
listed in Chart 3.1.
Steroids are a part of some chemotherapy regimens.
They are given on the same days as chemotherapy
but only for a few days or a week. Prednisone
is made in pill form but dexamethasone and
methylprednisolone are made both as a liquid to be
injected or a pill to be swallowed.
Most side effects of steroids fade away once the
drugs are stopped. Common side effects include
feeling hungry, trouble sleeping, mood changes, slow
wound healing, upset stomach, and swelling in the
ankles, feet, and hands.
The immune system is your body’s natural defense
against illness. Immunomodulators are drugs
that modify different parts of the immune system.
Lenalidomide is an immunomodulator used to treat
peripheral T-cell lymphoma if first-line treatment fails
or the cancer returns.
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. It may also be given for 4 straight weeks. 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 severe tiredness despite
sleep (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.