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Lenalidomide: Structure and Mechanism of Action

Lenalidomide is a drug used for the treatment of various cancers including multiple myeloma. It is an oral medication that works by enhancing the immune system to fight against cancer cells. Lenalidomide is commonly known as Revlimid and forms a part of a class of drugs called immunomodulatory drugs.

Structure of the Lenalidomide compound

Lenalidomide is a synthetic compound that is derived by the modification of the Thalidomide chemical structure aiming to reduce its side effects and improve its potency.
The molecular formula of Lenalidomide is C13H13N3O3. It has a molecular weight of 259.26 and has a single oxo group in the Phthaloyl ring.
The Lenalidomide structure consists of a 4-amino-glutamyl analogue of Thalidomide without any sedation side effects on neurology. It has emerged as a drug that fights numerous solid malignancies.

The Lenalidomide compound is seen as an immunomodulator that affects the humoral and cellular limbs of the immune system. It additionally has anti-angiogenic properties. Although the exact molecular targets of Lenalidomide are unknown, the activities it performs in neoplastic conditions suggests the presence of numerous target sites of action.

The Lenalidomide Mechanism of action

Recent studies have shown that Lenalidomide works in different hematologic malignancies through various mechanisms. The Lenalidomide mechanism of action involves direct cytotoxicity along with having indirect effects on the immunity of tumours.

Following are some of the mechanisms through which Lenalidomide acts in the body-

  • Immunomodulation– After the intake of Lenalidomide, the immune system prevents the development of cancer cells by suppressing oncogenic infections while altering the inflammatory milieu and destroying the formed cells before harm being caused.
  • T cell activation– The activation of T cells is tightly related to preventing autoreactivity in the immune system. The Lenalidomide drug stimulates cytotoxic cells thereby providing antitumour immunity in response to a tumour cell vaccination.
  • Augmentation of NK cell function– The action of Lenalidomide enhanced the Natural Killer (NK) cells while also playing a role in increasing their potency. The modulation of NK cells also contributes to the anti-tumour activity of Lenalidomide in multiple myeloma.

 
Based on the clinical efficacy Lenalidomide has shown in the treatment of various cancers, it is now being used in combination with other chemotherapy medication. It is found that Lenalidomide targets specific mechanisms of action better and provides a biological rationale to combine therapy with a few well-defined sites of action.

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