Background: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, "high-risk" patients, such as cancer patients, have had to reconsider their current medical treatments and other treatment alternatives to best minimize their risk for contracting COVID-19. Lenalidomide has immunomodulatory properties that stimulate the production of T-cells which help combat against infections which may include diseases such as COVID-19. In this abstract, we investigate whether lenalidomide protects multiple myeloma (MM) patients from contracting COVID-19 and whether lenalidomide decreases the severity of COVID-19 events (including hospital or intensive care unit [ICU] admissions, and need of assisted ventilation) for patients that contract the virus (PMID: 32950467, PMID: 32353254).
Methods: MM patient data was collected through HealthTree ® Cure Hub for Multiple Myeloma (healthtree.org) and the relative risk was calculated to compare the risk of contracting COVID-19 between patients taking lenalidomide and those who were not at the time of contracting COVID-19. The odds ratio was calculated to measure lenalidomide's effect on the severity of COVID-19 if contracted. These events include whether a patient was hospitalized, had to go to the ICU, or required oxygen therapy.
Results: There were 1,123 patients involved in comparing lenalidomide with the risk of contracting COVID-19, including patients that never tested positive for COVID-19. Surprisingly, our results showed that patients who are taking lenalidomide have a 10% higher risk for contracting COVID-19 than those who are not; however, these findings were insignificant. Furthermore, 40 patients were involved in investigating lenalidomide's effect on decreasing severe COVID-19 symptoms for MM patients. Our results showed that the odds of patients experiencing severe COVID-19 were 1.95 times more for those on lenalidomide than those who were not.
Conclusions: Despite the insignificance of lenalidomide during COVID-19, our results indicated that taking lenalidomide may not be beneficial in lowering the risk for MM patients in contracting COVID-19. Furthermore, lenalidomide may also not decrease the severity of COVID-19 symptoms for MM patients that did contract COVID-19. Our results may help MM patients and their providers decide whether to continue their use of lenalidomide or to seek alternative treatment options.
Ahlstrom: Pfizer: Other: Patient Advisory; Janssen: Other: Patient Advisory; Takeda: Other: Patient Advisory; Bristol Myers Squibb: Other: Patient Advisory.