Bendamustine in the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas
Fredrick Hagemeister1, George Manoukian2
1Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX, USA; 2Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX, USA
Purpose: To review available data using bendamustine alone and in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents in treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
Methods: Internet database searches and literature review.
Results: Bendamustine was approved in March 2008 by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Many trials have been performed over the last decade using bendamustine not only as monotherapy, but also in combination with other agents including rituximab, vincristine, mitoxantrone, fludarabine, and other agents as therapy for patients with relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, and recently was approved for use in therapy of patients with relapsed indolent lymphomas considered refractory to rituximab therapy. As monotherapy, bendamustine induces good responses with only minor side effects. In combination with other agents, efficacy improves, especially when given in combination with rituximab. The drug has also been studied in combination with rituximab as initial therapy for indolent lymphomas, and has excellent activity with less toxicity than R-CHOP (rituximab – cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin [Adriamycin], Oncovin [vincristine], and prednisone/prednisolone).
Conclusion: Overall, bendamustine has demonstrated promising results as therapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas and should be included in the armamentarium of agents used to treat relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas and may prove valuable as initial therapy for these diseases. Further studies are being conducted to demonstrate the efficacy of this drug in combination with other agents.
Keywords: bendamustine, non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, relapsed lymphoma
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