MCLENA-1: A Clinical Trial for the Assessment of Lenalidomide in Amnestic MCI Patients (MCLENA-1)

  • End date
    Sep 30, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix
Updated on 30 April 2022
ct scan
mini-mental state examination
alzheimer's disease
mental state examination
cholinesterase inhibitors
cholinesterase inhibitor
neurologic finding


Accumulating evidence indicates that inflammation is prominent both in the blood and central nervous system (CNS) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. These data suggest that systemic inflammation plays a crucial role in the cause and effects of AD neuropathology. Capitalizing on the experience from a previous clinical trial with thalidomide, here, the investigators hypothesize that modulating both systemic and CNS inflammation via the pleiotropic immunomodulator lenalidomide is a putative therapeutic intervention for AD if administered at a proper time window during the course of the disease.


There are currently no approved treatments to treat the neuroinflammatory aspects of AD. While inflammation is pervasive to many neurological disorders, no clinical trial has yet demonstrated the efficacy of anti-inflammatory agents for AD. Interestingly, chronic peripheral low-grade inflammation is associated with aging and increases the risk for disease and mortality, including AD. Accumulating evidence indicates that nuclear factor-kappa B, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interleukins (e.g. IL-1beta, IL-2, and IL-6), and chemokines (e.g. IL-8) are found elevated both in the blood and central nervous system (CNS) of AD patients. These data confirm that inflammation plays a central role in the cause and effect of AD neuropathology.

The immunomodulator, anti-cancer agent lenalidomide is one of the very few pleiotropic agents that both lowers the expression of TNFα, IL-6, IL-8, and increases the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. IL-10), to modulate both innate and adaptive immune responses.

In the current project the investigators aim to test the central hypothesis that lenalidomide reduces inflammatory and AD-associated pathological biomarkers, and improves cognition. For this, the investigators designed an 18-month, Phase II, double-blind, randomized, two-armed, parallel group, placebo controlled, and proof-of-mechanism clinical study in early symptomatic AD subjects (i.e. amnestic mild cognitive impairment; aMCI). The effects of lenalidomide treatment will be assessed after 12 months of treatment and 6 months washout (month 18).

Condition Cognitive Impairment, Mild, Cognitive Dysfunction, Amyloid Plaque, Neurodegeneration, Inflammation, Brain
Treatment Placebo, placebos, Lenalidomide 10 mg
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04032626
SponsorSt. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix
Last Modified on30 April 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

In order to be eligible for this study, subjects must meet the following inclusion
Male or female outpatients
At least 50 years of age, but less than 90 (89 at time of screening)
Females must be surgically sterile (bilateral tubal ligation, oophorectomy, or hysterectomy) or postmenopausal for 2 years (no women at risk of pregnancy will be accepted in this study)
Must have been diagnosed with amnestic MCI based on the most recent NIA-AA criteria (Albert et al., 2011), i.e. at both the screening and baseline visits (visits 1 and 2) have a documented Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) score between 22-28
CT or MRI scan of the brain obtained during the course of the dementia must be consistent with the diagnosis and show no evidence of significant focal lesions or of pathology which could contribute to dementia. If neither a CT nor an MRI scan is available from the past 12 months, a CT scan fulfilling the requirements must be obtained before randomization
Vision and hearing must be sufficient to comply with study procedures
Be able to take oral medications
Hachinski ischemic score must be ≤ 4
Geriatric depression scale must be ≤ 10
Can be on stable doses of a cholinesterase inhibitor and/or memantine as long as it is stable for at least 90 days before the Baseline (Week 00) and is expected to remain on a stable dose for the remainder of the study period; or have demonstrated intolerance to or lack of efficacy from these medications
Must have a collateral informant/study partner who has significant direct contact with the patient at least 10 hours per week and who is willing to accompany the patient to all clinic visits and to be present during all telephone visits/interviews
If the patient has a legally authorized representative (LAR), the LAR must review and sign the informed consent form. If the patient does not have an LAR, the patient must appear able to provide informed consent and must review and sign the informed consent form. In addition, the patient's informant/study partner (as defined above) must sign the informed consent form. If the LAR and the patient's informant /study partner is the same individual, he/she should sign under both designations
Must be able to attend all study visits indicated in the schedule of visits
Medical records must document evidence of amnestic MCI with 1 of the following: MRI with hippocampal volume in the 5th percentile or lower for age, Amyloid PET positive at SUVr ≥ 1.05, CSF Tau profile with ATI lower than 1.0, FDG PET showing hypometabolism in the parietal temporal regions, or genetic confirmation of APOE4 (heterozygous or homozygous)
Patients with stable prostate cancer may be included at the discretion of the Medical Monitor

Exclusion Criteria

Subjects will be excluded if they have any of the condition listed below
Current evidence or history within the last 3 years of a neurological or psychiatric illness that could contribute to dementia, including (but not limited to) epilepsy, focal brain lesion, Parkinson's disease, seizure disorder, head injury with loss of consciousness
DSM IV criteria for any major psychiatric disorder including psychosis, major depression and bipolar disorder
Known history or self-reported alcohol or substance abuse
Isolated living circumstances which would prohibit a study partner from providing sufficient and credible information about the participant
Poorly controlled hypertension
History of myocardial infarction or signs or symptoms of unstable coronary artery disease within the last year (including revascularization procedure/angioplasty)
Severe pulmonary disease (including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) requiring more than 2 hospitalizations within the past year
Untreated sleep apnea
Any thyroid disease (unless euthyroid or on treatment for at least 6 months prior to screening)
Active neoplastic disease (except for skin tumors other than melanoma). Patients with a history of prior malignancy are eligible provided they were treated with curative intent and (i) do not require any longer any active therapy; (ii) being considered in complete remission; and (iii) after the Medical Monitor's assessment/approval of each case
History of multiple myeloma
Absolute neutropenia of <750mm3, or history of neutropenia
History of or current thromboembolism (including deep venous thrombosis)
Any clinically significant hepatic or renal disease (including presence of Hepatitis B or C antigen/antibody or an elevated transaminase levels of greater than two times the upper limit of normal (ULN) or creatinine greater than 1.5 x ULN)
Clinically significant hematologic or coagulation disorder including any unexplained anemia or a platelet count less than 100,000/μL at screening
Use of any investigational drug within 30 days or within five half-lives of the investigational agent, whichever is longer
Use any investigational medical device within two weeks before screening or after end of the present study
Females who are at risk of pregnancy or are of child bearing age
Any other disease or condition that, in the opinion of the investigator, makes the patient unsuitable to participate in this clinical trial
Unwilling or unable to undergo MRI and PET imaging
Cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator or other implanted device
In the opinion of the Investigator, participation would not be in the best interest of the subject
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