The immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) are a class of orally available compounds which are licensed for the treatment of multiple myeloma (thalidomide, lenalidomide) and transfusion-dependent low- and intermediate-risk myelodysplasia (MDS) with deletion of long arm of chromosome 5 (lenalidomide). Pomalidomide, a novel second generation IMiD, is entering clinical trials and seems to further broaden the therapeutic spectrum of these already pleiotropic drugs. Here we summarise new insights into the mechanism of action of IMiDs as well as new developments related to their clinical use, as maintenance therapy in multiple myeloma (MM), in the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasm- associated myelofibrosis, other types of MDS, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and sickle cell disease (SCD).

(BELG J HEMATOL 2013;1:21–28)