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Web Resources: Bendamustine
Recent Research Publications

Web Resources: Bendamustine (5 links)

Recent Research Publications

Barrenetxea Lekue C, Grasso Cicala S, Leppä S, et al.
Pixantrone beyond monotherapy: a review.
Ann Hematol. 2019; 98(9):2025-2033 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Outcomes for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) that proves refractory to treatment remain poor. Treatment of such patients is individualized and can include enrolment in a clinical trial of novel agents or use of one of a wide array of drug regimens. Initial treatment with anthracyclines such as doxorubicin limits options at later stages of treatment because of anthracycline-related cumulative cardiotoxicity. The aza-anthracenedione pixantrone was developed to reduce the likelihood of cardiotoxicity without compromising efficacy and is currently conditionally approved for use as monotherapy in patients with multiply-relapsed or refractory aggressive B cell NHL. The use of pixantrone in combination therapy, often to replace doxorubicin or mitoxantrone, has or is currently being investigated in numerous studies in patients with aggressive or indolent NHL and is the focus of this review. These include the R-CPOP regimen (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, pixantrone, vincristine, prednisone) for aggressive NHL in the first-line setting, including a study in elderly patients with limited cardiac function, and for patients with relapsed NHL with prior anthracycline exposure; the PSHAP regimen (pixantrone, cytarabine, prednisone, cisplatin), also in the latter setting; the PREBen/PEBen regimen (pixantrone, bendamustine and etoposide with or without rituximab) as salvage therapy; and pixantrone in combination with fludarabine, dexamethasone, and rituximab (FPD-R) for relapsed indolent NHL.

Sakai R, Ohmachi K, Sano F, et al.
Bendamustine-120 plus rituximab therapy for relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma: a multicenter phase II study.
Ann Hematol. 2019; 98(9):2131-2138 [PubMed] Related Publications
The optimal dose, schedule, and other aspects of bendamustine plus rituximab treatment remain unclear for patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL). Herein, we analyzed the efficacy of bendamustine combined with rituximab (RB-120) treatment for Japanese patients with relapsed or refractory FL. This phase II clinical trial included patients with relapsed or refractory FL who received 375 mg/m

Bogeljić Patekar M, Milunović V, Mišura Jakobac K, et al.
Acta Clin Croat. 2018; 57(3):542-553 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
- The aim of this review is to present data on bendamustine, a non-cross resistant alkylating agent, alone or in combination for treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Bendamustine is currently approved for rituximab-resistant indolent NHL and CLL in patients not fit for conventional chemotherapy. Recent studies have shown superiority of bendamustine combination with rituximab (B-R) in first line treatment of indolent NHLs and mantle cell lymphoma, suggesting a shift of the standard of care in this setting. B-R regimen has also shown efficacy in relapsed setting suggesting the possible treatment option for patients failing conventional chemotherapy. In rituximab-resistant NHL, the recent GADOLIN study exploring the addition of obinutuzumab to bendamustine has yielded impressive result changing the standard of care in this hard-to-treat population. Concerning CLL, despite inferiority to the standard of care in young fit patients, as defined in CLL10 study, B-R has yielded a more beneficial toxicity profile and its use in first line treatment should be decided individually. In relapsed setting, the addition of ibrutinib to B-R has shown superior results compared to B-R alone, possibly changing the paradigm of treatment of relapsed CLL. In conclusion, bendamustine as a single agent or in combinations has shown activity with acceptable toxic profile in the treatment of patients with indolent NHLs or CLL without del(17p) mutation.

Lavezzi SM, de Jong J, Neyens M, et al.
Systemic Exposure of Rituximab Increased by Ibrutinib: Pharmacokinetic Results and Modeling Based on the HELIOS Trial.
Pharm Res. 2019; 36(7):93 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: In the HELIOS trial, bendamustine/rituximab (BR) plus ibrutinib (BR-I) improved disease outcomes versus BR plus placebo in previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma. Here, we describe the pharmacokinetic (PK) observations, along with modeling to further explore the interaction between ibrutinib and rituximab.
METHODS: 578 subjects were randomized to ibrutinib or placebo with BR (6 cycles). Ibrutinib PK samples and tumor measurements were obtained from all subjects; a subset was evaluated for bendamustine and rituximab PK. Population rituximab PK was assessed using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling.
RESULTS: Dose-normalized plasma concentration-time bendamustine data were comparable between the arms. Systemic rituximab exposure was higher with BR-I versus BR; mean trough serum concentrations were 2- to 3-fold higher in the first three cycles and 1.2- to 1.7-fold higher subsequently. No relevant safety differences were observed. In the modeling, including treatment arm as a categorical covariate and tumor burden as a continuous time-varying covariate on overall rituximab clearance significantly improved fitting of the data.
CONCLUSIONS: BR-I led to higher dose-normalized systemic rituximab exposure versus BR and more rapid steady-state achievement. The modeling data suggest that rituximab disposition is, at least in part, target mediated. Determining the clinical significance of these findings requires further assessments.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study is registered at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01611090 .

Liu Z, Markham M, Mandernach MW
Marginal zone lymphoma-associated antiphospholipid antibodies successfully treated with bendamustine rituximab.
BMJ Case Rep. 2019; 12(3) [PubMed] Related Publications
A 46-year-old man presented with splenomegaly, abdominal adenopathy and profoundly elevated prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time. He was diagnosed with marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma, and the abnormal coagulation studies were secondary to the presence of a lupus anticoagulant. Optimal upfront therapy for MZL has not been established, and the incidence of antiphospholipid antibodies (APLA) in this patient population is rare. Following treatment with six cycles of bendamustine and rituximab with 2 years of rituximab maintenance, our patient remained in remission and his coagulation studies normalised. This report describes a case of successful treatment of APLA associated with MZL that resolved after treatment of the lymphoma.

Herishanu Y, Tadmor T, Braester A, et al.
Low-dose fludarabine and cyclophosphamide combined with standard dose rituximab (LD-FCR) is an effective and safe regimen for elderly untreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: The Israeli CLL study group experience.
Hematol Oncol. 2019; 37(2):185-192 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a disease of elderly patients. The fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) regimen is considered the treatment of choice for young fit patients with CLL; however, this combination is toxic for older patients. At the time this study was first planned and initiated, there was no standard chemo-immunotherapy regimen regarded as standard therapy for the less fit elderly patient with CLL. Here, we conducted a single-arm, phase II trial to examine the efficacy and safety of lower-dose fludarabine and cyclophosphamide combined with a standard dose of rituximab (LD-FCR) in elderly patients with previously untreated CLL. Forty patients received LD-FCR and were included in the efficacy analysis. Two patients treated with FC alone were only included in the safety analysis. The median age was 72.7 years (range, 65.0 to 85.0). The overall response and complete response rates were 67.5% and 42.5%, respectively. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 35.5 months (95% CI, 29.27-41.67). Two patients (4.8%) died during the study period. Hematological toxicities and infections were the most common complications encountered; grade 3 to 4 treatment-related neutropenia occurred in 20 (47.6%) patients. During the entire study follow-up, 26 patients (61.9%) had all grades of infection including six (14.3%) with neutropenic fever and eight (19%) with grade 3 to 4 non-neutropenic infections. In conclusion, LD-FCR is an effective and relatively safe regimen for previously untreated patients with CLL. It has the advantage of being both "time and cost limited" and, even in the era of novel agents, can still be considered when planning treatment for elderly patients without high-risk biomarkers. However, recent results in fit elderly patients using the combination of bendamustine and rituximab which have achieved longer PFS with good safety profile must be taken into consideration in this regard.

Budde LE, Wu D, Martin DB, et al.
Bendamustine with rituximab, etoposide and carboplatin (T(R)EC) in relapsed or refractory aggressive lymphoma: a prospective multicentre phase 1/2 clinical trial.
Br J Haematol. 2018; 183(4):601-607 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
We sought to develop a safe and effective outpatient salvage regimen by replacing ifosfamide within the (R)ICE (rituximab, ifosfomide, carboplatin, etoposide) regimen with bendamustine (T(R)EC) via a multicentre phase I/II study for patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and classic Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Therapy consisted of 60-120 mg/m

von Tresckow J, Cramer P, Bahlo J, et al.
CLL2-BIG: sequential treatment with bendamustine, ibrutinib and obinutuzumab (GA101) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2019; 33(5):1161-1172 [PubMed] Related Publications
Obinutuzumab (GA101) and ibrutinib show excellent efficacy for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Preclinical investigations and a complementary safety profile were in support of testing their combined use. The exploratory CLL2-BIG-trial evaluated a sequential combination therapy following a recently proposed strategy. Two courses of bendamustine were used for debulking in patients with a high tumor load, followed by six courses of induction therapy with ibrutinib and GA101, followed by an MRD-triggered maintenance phase. The results of a pre-planned analysis at the end of the induction phase are presented. 61 patients were included, 30 previously untreated and 31 with relapsed/refractory CLL. 44 patients received bendamustine. During induction, neutropenia (14.8%) and thrombocytopenia (13.1%) were the most common CTC grade 3 and 4 events. One fatality (duodenitis) occurred. The overall response rate was 100%. 54.1% of patients achieved a partial remission, 41% a clinical complete remission (cCR) without confirmation by CT scan or bone marrow (BM) biopsy according to protocol and 4.9% a cCR with incomplete recovery of the BM. 29 patients (47.5%) had no detectable (<10

Woyach JA, Ruppert AS, Heerema NA, et al.
Ibrutinib Regimens versus Chemoimmunotherapy in Older Patients with Untreated CLL.
N Engl J Med. 2018; 379(26):2517-2528 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ibrutinib has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) since 2016 but has not been compared with chemoimmunotherapy. We conducted a phase 3 trial to evaluate the efficacy of ibrutinib, either alone or in combination with rituximab, relative to chemoimmunotherapy.
METHODS: Patients 65 years of age or older who had untreated CLL were randomly assigned to receive bendamustine plus rituximab, ibrutinib, or ibrutinib plus rituximab. The primary end point was progression-free survival. The Alliance Data and Safety Monitoring Board made the decision to release the data after the protocol-specified efficacy threshold had been met.
RESULTS: A total of 183 patients were assigned to receive bendamustine plus rituximab, 182 to receive ibrutinib, and 182 to receive ibrutinib plus rituximab. Median progression-free survival was reached only with bendamustine plus rituximab. The estimated percentage of patients with progression-free survival at 2 years was 74% with bendamustine plus rituximab and was higher with ibrutinib alone (87%; hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.26 to 0.58; P<0.001) and with ibrutinib plus rituximab (88%; hazard ratio, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.59; P<0.001). There was no significant difference between the ibrutinib-plus-rituximab group and the ibrutinib group with regard to progression-free survival (hazard ratio, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.62 to 1.62; P=0.49). With a median follow-up of 38 months, there was no significant difference among the three treatment groups with regard to overall survival. The rate of grade 3, 4, or 5 hematologic adverse events was higher with bendamustine plus rituximab (61%) than with ibrutinib or ibrutinib plus rituximab (41% and 39%, respectively), whereas the rate of grade 3, 4, or 5 nonhematologic adverse events was lower with bendamustine plus rituximab (63%) than with the ibrutinib-containing regimens (74% with each regimen).
CONCLUSIONS: Among older patients with untreated CLL, treatment with ibrutinib was superior to treatment with bendamustine plus rituximab with regard to progression-free survival. There was no significant difference between ibrutinib and ibrutinib plus rituximab with regard to progression-free survival. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and Pharmacyclics; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01886872 .).

Li X, Li C, Jin J, et al.
High PARP-1 expression predicts poor survival in acute myeloid leukemia and PARP-1 inhibitor and SAHA-bendamustine hybrid inhibitor combination treatment synergistically enhances anti-tumor effects.
EBioMedicine. 2018; 38:47-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: PARP-1 plays a critical role in DNA damage repair and contributes to progression of cancer. To explore the role of PARP-1 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we analyzed the expression of PARP-1 in AML and its relation to the clinical prognosis. Then, we investigated the efficacy and mechanism of PARP inhibitor BMN673 (Talazoparib) combined with NL101, a novel SAHA-bendamustine hybrid in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: The expression of PARP-1 in 339 cytogenetically normal AML (CN-AML) cases was evaluated using RT-PCR. According to the expression of PARP-1, the clinical characteristics and prognosis of the patients were grouped and compared. The combination effects of BMN673 and NL101 were studied in AML cells and B-NSG mice xenograft model of MV4-11.
FINDINGS: We found patients in high PARP-1 expression group had higher levels of blast cells in bone marrow (P = .003) and white blood cells (WBC) in peripheral blood (P = .008), and were associated with a more frequent FLT3-ITD mutation (28.2% vs 17.3%, P = .031). The overall survival (OS) and event free survival (EFS) of the high expression group were significantly shorter than those in the low expression group (OS, P = .005 and EFS, P = .004). BMN673 combined with NL101 had a strong synergistic effect in treating AML. The combination significantly induced cell apoptosis and arrested cell cycle in G2/M phase. Mechanistically, BMN673 and NL101 combinatorial treatment promoted DNA damage. In vivo, the combination effectively delayed the development of AML and prolonged survival.
INTERPRETATION: High PARP-1 expression predicts poor survival in CN-AML patients. The synergistic effects of PARP inhibitor BMN673 in combination with SAHA-bendamustine hybrid, NL101, provide a new therapeutic strategy against AML. FUND: National Natural Science Foundation of China and Zhejiang Provincial Key Innovation Team.

Al-Sawaf O, Bahlo J, Robrecht S, et al.
Outcome of patients aged 80 years or older treated for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Br J Haematol. 2018; 183(5):727-735 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clinical management of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in patients aged ≥80 years is based on limited evidence due to the lack of published information. Therefore, we analysed CLL patients aged ≥80 years using data from seven phase III clinical trials of the German CLL Study Group. Among 3552 participants, 152 were ≥80 years old at initiation of first-line study treatment. Median age was 82 years (range 80-90). Concomitant diseases were present in 99% of the patients, with a median cumulative illness rating scale score of 8 (0-18). Chemoimmunotherapy with chlorambucil-obinutuzumab (CLB-OB) or chlorambucil-rituximab (CLB-R) was administered to 61 (40%) and 56 (37%) patients. The remaining patients received CLB (n = 19) or fludarabine (F, n = 10), F/cyclophosphamide (FC, n = 1), FC/rituximab (FCR, n = 2) or bendamustine/rituximab (BR, n = 3). Rates of grade 3 or 4 neutropenia and infections were 35% and 13%. Overall response rate was 77% with 13% complete remissions. Median progression-free survival and treatment-free survival were 17·2 and 32·3 months, respectively. Median overall survival was 48·3 months; adverse events (22%) and progressive CLL (16·4%) were the most frequent causes of death. These findings suggest that anti-leukaemic treatment including chemoimmunotherapy is feasible and efficacious in ≥80-year-old CLL patients. However, this group of patients lives for a shorter time than age-matched controls of the general population.

Iannitto E, Bellei M, Amorim S, et al.
Efficacy of bendamustine and rituximab in splenic marginal zone lymphoma: results from the phase II BRISMA/IELSG36 study.
Br J Haematol. 2018; 183(5):755-765 [PubMed] Related Publications
Splenectomy in addition to immunotherapy with rituximab can provide quick and sometimes durable disease control in patients with splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL). However, systemic chemotherapy is ultimately required in many cases. The BRISMA (Bendamustine-rituximab as first-line treatment of splenic marginal zone lymphoma)/IELSG (International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group)36 trial is an open-label, single arm phase II study designed by the IELSG in cooperation with the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi and the lymphoma Study Association according to Simon's two-stage method. The primary endpoint was complete response rate. Fifty-six patients with SMZL diagnosis confirmed on central revision were treated with bendamustine (90 mg/m

Dreyling M, Klapper W, Rule S
Blastoid and pleomorphic mantle cell lymphoma: still a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge!
Blood. 2018; 132(26):2722-2729 [PubMed] Related Publications
Blastoid mantle cell lymphoma is characterized by highly aggressive features and a dismal clinical course. These blastoid and pleomorphic variants are defined by cytomorphological features, but the criteria are somewhat subjective. The diagnosis may be supported by a high cell proliferation based on the Ki-67 labeling index. Recent analyses have shown that the Ki-67 index overrules the prognostic information derived from the cytology subtypes. Nevertheless, genetic analysis suggests that blastoid and pleomorphic variants are distinct from classical mantle cell lymphoma. In clinical cohorts, the frequency of these subsets varies widely but probably represents ∼10% of all cases. Chemotherapy regimens commonly used in mantle cell lymphoma, such as bendamustine, rarely achieve prolonged remissions when given at the dosage developed for classical variants of the disease. Thus, high-dose cytarabine-containing regimens with high-dose consolidation may be generally recommended based on the more aggressive clinical course in these patients. However, even with these intensified regimens, the long-term outcome seems to be impaired. Thus, especially in this patient subset, allogeneic transplantation may be discussed at an early time point in disease management. Accordingly, targeted approaches are warranted in these patients, but clinical data are scarce. Ibrutinib treatment results in high rates of responses, but the median duration of remission is <6 months. Similarly, lenalidomide and temsirolimus result in only short-term remissions. Novel approaches, such as chimeric antigenic receptor T cells, may have the potential to finally improve the dismal long-term outcome of these patients.

Fraser G, Cramer P, Demirkan F, et al.
Updated results from the phase 3 HELIOS study of ibrutinib, bendamustine, and rituximab in relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma.
Leukemia. 2019; 33(4):969-980 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
We report follow-up results from the randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 HELIOS trial of ibrutinib+bendamustine and rituximab (BR) for previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) without deletion 17p. Overall, 578 patients were randomized 1:1 to either ibrutinib (420 mg daily) or placebo, in combination with 6 cycles of BR, followed by ibrutinib or placebo alone. Median follow-up was 34.8 months (range: 0.1-45.8). Investigator-assessed median progression-free survival (PFS) was not reached for ibrutinib+BR, versus 14.3 months for placebo+BR (hazard ratio [HR] [95% CI], 0.206 [0.159-0.265]; P < 0.0001); 36-month PFS rates were 68.0% versus 13.9%, respectively. The results are consistent with the primary analysis findings (HR = 0.203, as assessed by independent review committee, with 17-month median follow-up). Median overall survival was not reached in either arm; HR (95% CI) for ibrutinib+BR versus placebo: 0.652 (0.454-0.935; P = 0.019). Minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative response rates were 26.3% for ibrutinib+BR and 6.2% for placebo+BR (P < 0.0001). Incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events (including grades 3-4) were generally consistent with the initial HELIOS report. These long-term data support improved survival outcomes and deepening responses with ibrutinib+BR compared with BR in relapsed CLL/SLL.

Trotman J, Barrington SF, Belada D, et al.
Prognostic value of end-of-induction PET response after first-line immunochemotherapy for follicular lymphoma (GALLIUM): secondary analysis of a randomised, phase 3 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2018; 19(11):1530-1542 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Initial results from the ongoing GALLIUM trial have shown that patients with follicular lymphoma have a longer progression-free survival after first-line immunochemotherapy with obinutuzumab than with rituximab. The aim of this secondary analysis was to evaluate the prognostic value of PET-CT responses after first-line immunochemotherapy in the GALLIUM study.
METHODS: GALLIUM is an open-label, parallel-group randomised, phase 3 trial, which recruited previously untreated patients with CD20-positive follicular lymphoma (grades 1-3a; disease stage III/IV, or stage II with largest tumour diameter ≥7 cm) who were aged 18 years or older and met the criteria for needing treatment. Eligible patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive intravenous administration of obinutuzumab (1000 mg on days 1, 8, and 15 of cycle 1, then day 1 of subsequent cycles) or rituximab (375 mg/m
FINDINGS: 1202 patients were enrolled in GALLIUM between July 6, 2011, and Feb 4, 2014, of whom 595 were included in the PET population; 533 (IHP 2007; prospective analysis), and 508 (Lugano 2014; retrospective analysis) were analysed for progression-free survival (landmark analysis). At end of induction, 390 of 595 patients (65·5% [95% CI 61·6-69·4]) achieved PET complete response according to IHP 2007 criteria, and 450 (75·6% [95% CI 72·0-79·0]) obtained PET complete metabolic response according to Lugano 2014 criteria. With a median of 43·3 months of observation (IQR 36·2-51·8), 2·5-year progression-free survival from end of induction was 87·8% (95% CI 83·9-90·8) in PET complete responders and 72·0% (63·1-79·0) in non-complete responders according to IRC-assessed IHP 2007 criteria (hazard ratio [HR] 0·4, 95% CI 0·3-0·6, p<0·0001). According to Lugano 2014 criteria, 2·5-year progression-free survival in complete metabolic responders was 87·4% (95% CI 83·7-90·2) and in non-complete metabolic responders was 54·9% (40·5-67·3; HR 0·2, 95% CI 0·1-0·3, p<0·0001).
INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest that PET is a better imaging modality than contrast-enhanced CT for response assessment after first-line immunochemotherapy in patients with follicular lymphoma. PET assessment according to Lugano 2014 response criteria provides a platform for investigation of response-adapted therapeutic approaches. Additional supportive data are welcomed.
FUNDING: F Hoffmann-La Roche.

Thebo U, Millett RL, Elkon J, Haroun F
Two distinct histological Richter's transformations 23 years apart in a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
BMJ Case Rep. 2018; 2018 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 53-year-old man with a 1-year history of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) presented with a left bicep mass. Biopsy and staging workup revealed Richter's transformation (RT) Ann Arbor stage 1E diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the bicep. The patient was treated with combination chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, Vincristine and prednisone followed by site radiation and did well thereafter. His CLL progressed and required treatment on two more occasions 11 and 18 years after his initial diagnosis with fludarabine, Cytoxan and Rituxan and then with bendamustine and rituximab. 23 years after initial presentation, he developed diffuse lymphadenopathy and B-symptoms. A biopsy of an enlarged cervical lymph node demonstrated only CLL for which he was started on ibrutinib. Treatment was shortly discontinued thereafter due to intolerance and worsening symptoms. A second biopsy was performed which revealed concurrent CLL and Hodgkin's lymphoma representing a second and histologically distinct RT.

Edwin NC, Kahl B
Evolving treatment strategies in mantle cell lymphoma.
Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2018; 31(3):270-278 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mantle cell lymphoma is an incurable, moderately aggressive B cell lymphoma. While a small proportion of patients with indolent disease can be managed expectantly, most patients require treatment. The therapeutic approach is driven by physician recommendation, patient choice, age, fitness and comorbidities. Young, fit patients often receive combination chemoimmunotherapy, including high dose cytarabine, with autologous stem cell transplant. Recent data has indicated benefit from maintenance rituximab following autologous stem cell transplant. Ongoing trials are investigating combinations of chemotherapy and targeted agents as well as the role of minimal residual disease guided therapy. Older, less fit patients often receive bendamustine and rituximab or anthracycline based regimens. Maintenance rituximab is typically administered in older MCL patients after anthracycline based chemotherapy although its use after bendamustine based therapy is not supported by current data. Current trials focus on refining this regimen with the addition of targeted agents. In the relapsed and refractory setting, novel agents have demonstrated activity although durability of responses remains unsatisfactory.

Gutsch J, Werthmann PG, Rosenwald A, Kienle GS
Complete Remission and Long-term Survival of a Patient with a Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma Under
Anticancer Res. 2018; 38(9):5363-5369 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma (NLPHL) is a lymphoproliferative neoplasm with a fair prognosis, but the possibility of a malignant transformation into a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is high. DLBCL progresses aggressively. Introduction of rituximab into therapy had led to improved outcomes. The use of Viscum album extracts (VAE) in cancer is established, but their application in lymphoma are rare.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 65-year-old patient was diagnosed with DLBCL stage IIa with splenomegaly, transformed from a NLPHL, after a 30-year history of repeatedly enlarged inguinal lymph nodes. The patient initially rejected chemotherapy. After his tumor pain increased, he accepted the consecutive therapies bendamustine plus vincristine plus prednisolone, trofosfamide, and rituximab plus cyclophosphamide plus hydroxydaunorubicin plus vincristine plus prednisone (R-CHOP), inducing only a slight regression of the splenic lesions. VAE was additionally applied to R-CHOP. Five months after termination of chemotherapy - under continued VAE therapy in increasing dosage- regression of paraaortal lesions was found. The patient fully recovered under continuous VAE application and is in ongoing complete remission and in a good state of health 17 years after the initial diagnosis.
CONCLUSION: As complete remission of lymphoproliferative disorders after VAE treatment has been previously reported, further investigations of VAE in lymphoma seem highly worthwhile.

Robak T, Burger JA, Tedeschi A, et al.
Single-agent ibrutinib versus chemoimmunotherapy regimens for treatment-naïve patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: A cross-trial comparison of phase 3 studies.
Am J Hematol. 2018; 93(11):1402-1410 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Chemoimmunotherapy (CIT) and targeted therapy with single-agent ibrutinib are both recommended first-line treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), although their outcomes have not been directly compared. Using ibrutinib data from the RESONATE-2 (PCYC-1115/1116) study conducted in patients ≥65 years without del(17p), we performed a cross-trial comparison with CIT data from published phase 3 studies in first-line treatment of CLL. Progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and safety data for ibrutinib (median follow-up 35.7 months) were evaluated alongside available CIT data. CIT regimens included: fludarabine + cyclophosphamide + rituximab (CLL8, CLL10), bendamustine + rituximab (CLL10), obinutuzumab + chlorambucil and rituximab + chlorambucil (CLL11), and ofatumumab + chlorambucil (COMPLEMENT-1). Median age across studies was 61-74 years, with older populations receiving ibrutinib, obinutuzumab + chlorambucil, or rituximab + chlorambucil. Median follow-up varied across studies/regimens (range 14.5-37.4 months). Among all patients, PFS appeared longer with ibrutinib relative to CIT and OS appeared comparable. Relative to CIT studies that similarly excluded patients with del(17p) (CLL10) or enrolled older/less-fit patients (CLL11), PFS appeared favorable for ibrutinib in high-risk subgroups, including advanced disease, bulky lymph nodes, unmutated IGHV status, and presence of del(11q). Grade ≥ 3 infections ranged from 9% (ofatumumab + chlorambucil) to 40% (fludarabine + cyclophosphamide + rituximab), and was 25% with ibrutinib. Grade ≥ 3 neutropenia was 12% for ibrutinib and 26%-84% for CIT. Although definitive conclusions cannot be made due to inherent limitations of cross-trial comparisons, this report suggests that ibrutinib has a favorable benefit/risk profile and may potentially eliminate the need for chemotherapy in some patients. Randomized, comparative studies are needed to support these findings.

Gyan E, Sonet A, Brice P, et al.
Bendamustine and rituximab in elderly patients with low-tumour burden follicular lymphoma. Results of the LYSA phase II BRIEF study.
Br J Haematol. 2018; 183(1):76-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
The treatment of low-tumour burden follicular lymphoma (LTBFL) remains a challenge. Rituximab-based strategies may be improved by adding chemotherapy. This Lymphoma Study Association multicentre phase II study assessed rituximab and bendamustine in 63 patients with untreated LTBFL who were aged over 60 years old and had a follicular lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) score ≥2. Induction comprised 4 weekly cycles of rituximab 375 mg/m

Cramer P, von Tresckow J, Bahlo J, et al.
Bendamustine followed by obinutuzumab and venetoclax in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL2-BAG): primary endpoint analysis of a multicentre, open-label, phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2018; 19(9):1215-1228 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Targeted agents such as the type II anti-CD20 antibody obinutuzumab and the B-cell lymphoma-2 antagonist venetoclax have shown impressive therapeutic activity in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The CLL2-BAG trial was initiated to investigate the combination of these two agents in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
METHODS: In this ongoing multicentre, open-label, investigator-initiated phase 2 trial, patients (aged ≥18 years) with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia requiring treatment according to the 2008 International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (IWCLL) criteria and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2 were enrolled at 16 sites in Germany. Patients with a relevant tumour load (absolute lymphocyte count ≥25 000 cells per μL or lymph nodes with a diameter of ≥5 cm) received sequential treatment of debulking with two cycles of bendamustine (70 mg/m
FINDINGS: Between May 6, 2015, and Jan 4, 2016, 66 patients were enrolled (35 treatment naive and 31 with relapsed or refractory disease), three of whom were excluded from the efficacy analysis because they received fewer than two induction cycles. Of the remaining 63 patients in the efficacy-evaluable population, 34 patients (54%) were treatment naive and 29 (46%) had relapsed or refractory disease. At data cutoff (Feb 28, 2017), all patients had completed induction treatment. At the end of the induction, 60 (95%) of 63 patients (95% CI 87-99) had responded, including all 34 patients in the treatment-naive cohort and 26 [90%] of 29 relapsed or refractory patients. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events during debulking were neutropenia and anaemia (five [11%] of 47 patients each), and thrombocytopenia and infection (three [6%] each). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events during induction were neutropenia (29 [44%] of 66 patients), infection (nine [14%]), thrombocytopenia (eight [12%]), infusion-related reactions (five [8%]), and secondary primary malignancy (four [6%]). 89 serious adverse events, including 69 related to study treatment, were reported. These serious adverse events were also mainly infections (four cases in four patients during debulking and 18 cases in 11 patients during induction) and cytopenia (four cases in four patients during debulking and ten cases in seven patients in induction). Five relapsed or refractory patients died: three cases of sepsis were deemed related to study treatment, whereas two deaths from Richter's transformation were not.
INTERPRETATION: The sequential application of bendamustine and obinutuzumab combined with venetoclax caused no unexpected or cumulative toxicities. The high proportion of patients who achieved overall responses, both treatment-naive and relapsed or refractory patients irrespective of physical fitness and genetic risk factors, compare favourably to established chronic lymphocytic leukaemia therapies. Further follow-up will help to define whether the remissions with eradication of minimal residual disease achieved with this combination are durable after treatment discontinuation.
FUNDING: F Hoffmann-La Roche and AbbVie.

Farag S, Jeker B, Bacher U, et al.
Dose-intensified bendamustine and melphalan (BenMel) conditioning before second autologous transplantation in myeloma patients.
Hematol Oncol. 2018; 36(4):671-678 [PubMed] Related Publications
Consolidation in myeloma patients with high-dose melphalan chemotherapy (Mel HDCT) and autologous transplantation (ASCT) is standard of care since more than 2 decades. However, definite cure remains exceptional despite intensive treatment, and improving effectiveness of HDCT remains an unmet clinical need. Combining intensified bendamustine with melphalan may represent an option. We analyzed safety and efficacy of combining dose-intensified bendamustine (200 mg/m

Singh A, Udupa K, Madhyastha SP, Sharma S
Bilateral primary adrenal lymphoma successfully treated with non-CHOP chemotherapy regimen.
BMJ Case Rep. 2018; 2018 [PubMed] Related Publications
Primary bilateral non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the adrenal gland is a rare presentation with <200 reported cases. We report a 70-year-old man who presented with vomiting and abdominal pain for 2 weeks and was subsequently diagnosed to have high-grade lymphoma of the adrenal glands. The patient was then started on a rituximab-bendamustine chemotherapy regimen. The patient tolerated treatment well without significant side effects. Repeat positron emission tomography CT scan after four cycles of chemotherapy showed complete response. The patient has completed six cycles of chemotherapy and is on regular follow-up with no signs of relapse.

Bargetzi M, Baumann R, Cogliatti S, et al.
Diagnosis and treatment of follicular lymphoma: an update.
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018; 148:w14635 [PubMed] Related Publications
Over the last few years, there have been many changes in the management of patients with follicular lymphoma, resulting in improvements in progression-free survival and quality of life. In addition to established regimens such as radiotherapy and immunochemotherapy, new treatment options are on the horizon. Furthermore, even the use of established chemotherapy agents has evolved, with new combinations moving to the forefront of the current treatment strategy. Nevertheless, there remains an unmet need for patients who have early relapses, those who are not responsive to anti-CD20 treatment regimens and for those in whom minimal residual disease persists even after immunochemotherapy. This review provides a summary of current developments in the diagnosis, treatment and management of follicular lymphoma, focusing on the clinical issues from a Swiss perspective.

Kim T, Choi HY, Lee HS, et al.
Clinical response and pharmacokinetics of bendamustine as a component of salvage R-B(O)AD therapy for the treatment of primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL).
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):729 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A relatively high proportion of patients diagnosed with primary CNS lymphoma will experience recurrent disease, yet therapy options are limited in salvage therapy. This is the first study to evaluate a bendamustine-based combination regimen for the treatment of relapsed/refractory PCNSL and to characterize bendamustine pharmacokinetics in the human CSF.
METHODS: Patients received bendamustine 75 mg/m
RESULTS: Ten patients were enrolled into study of whom 70% were of refractory disease and with high IELSG prognostic risk scores. The ORR of R-BOAD was 50% (95% CI, 0.24 to 0.76) with one patient achieving CR and four PR. Primary toxicity of the regimen was reversible myelosuppression, mostly grade 3 or 4 neutropenia. The C
CONCLUSIONS: R-BOAD is an effective salvage option for PCNSL, but with significant hematologic toxicity. Bendamustine CSF levels are minimal; however correspond to plasma exposure and response.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03392714 ; retrospectively registered January 8, 2018.

Haukaas FS, Ohna A, Krivasi T
Cost-Effectiveness of Obinutuzumab in Combination with Bendamustine Followed by Obinutuzumab Maintenance versus Bendamustine Alone in Treatment of Patients with Rituximab-Refractory Follicular Lymphoma in Norway.
Appl Health Econ Health Policy. 2018; 16(4):569-577 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of obinutuzumab in combination with bendamustine followed by obinituzumab maintenance (Obin-Benda) compared to bendamustine alone (Benda) in patients with refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) in a Norwegian setting.
METHODS: A three-state area-under-the-curve (AUC) model was developed. The states included were progression-free-survival (PFS), progressed disease (PD), and death. Each state had costs and utilities assigned to it. The pivotal phase III randomized controlled trial GADOLIN was used for clinical input in the model along with Norwegian cost estimates. The trial demonstrated that Obin-Benda improved overall survival (OS), with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.67 (95% CI 0.47-0.96), and reduced the likelihood of progression or death (HR 0.52, 95% CI 0.39-0.69) compared to Benda. The model used EQ-5D data collected in the GADOLIN trial, with UK tariffs assigned to the EQ-5D scores.
RESULTS: The total quality adjusted life-years (QALYs) for the patients on Obin-Benda were estimated to be 4.67, compared to 3.65 for Benda, while the total costs were estimated to be €98,849 and €51,570, respectively. Obin-Benda had an incremental gain of 1.02 QALYs compared to Benda, at an additional cost of €47,279. The estimated deterministic incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was €46,438 per QALY gained, while the probabilistic ICER was €46,887 per QALY gained (95% CI €34,772-€59,443). The results were robust to changes in various sensitivity and scenario analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: The cost-effectiveness threshold in Norway is not public, but based on previous decisions it is estimated to be up to approximately €89,000 per QALY (NOK 800,000). The results of the analysis indicate that obinutuzumab in combination with bendamustine followed by obinutuzumab maintenance may be cost-effective compared to bendamustine alone in Norway.

Katsanis E, Sapp LN, Varner N, et al.
Haploidentical Bone Marrow Transplantation with Post-Transplant Cyclophosphamide/Bendamustine in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients with Hematologic Malignancies.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2018; 24(10):2034-2039 [PubMed] Related Publications
More than half of patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation at our institution are ethnic or racial minorities, making the search for matched unrelated donors more challenging. Since the introduction of haploidentical bone marrow transplant (haplo-BMT) into our pediatric BMT program in 2015, 69.2% of recipients have been minorities. Herein, we describe our experience with the first 13 pediatric and young adult patients with hematologic malignancies who have undergone T cell-replete haplo-BMT after myeloablative conditioning (MAC) at our institution. We have previously documented that in experimental haplo-BMT, post-transplant bendamustine (PT-BEN) is at least as effective as post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PT-CY) against graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and elicits superior graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effects. We report on, for the first time in humans, 4 patients treated with PT-CY and PT-BEN after haplo-BMT as part of our ongoing institutional phase I/II study (NCT02996773). The remaining 9 patients reviewed in this report received PT-CY. Our findings indicate that MAC haplo-BMT is well tolerated by children and young adults with advanced hematologic malignancies with no observed nonrelapse mortality or grades III to IV GVHD. All patients who underwent haplo-BMT remain alive and disease-free with a median follow-up of 15.6 months (range, 1.5 to 31.2). Preliminary findings from our ongoing clinical trial demonstrate that partial substitution of PT-BEN for PT-CY is feasible and safe after haplo-BMT as an immune modulatory strategy to alleviate GVHD and potentially more effectively preserve GVL.

Guzauskas GF, Masaquel A, Reyes C, et al.
Cost-effectiveness of obinutuzumab plus bendamustine followed by obinutuzumab monotherapy for the treatment of follicular lymphoma patients who relapse after or are refractory to a rituximab-containing regimen in the US.
J Med Econ. 2018; 21(10):960-967 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Obinutuzumab (GA101, G) was approved in February 2016 by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat follicular lymphoma (FL) patients who relapsed after, or are refractory to (R/R), a rituximab-containing regimen (R/R-rituximab). In the GADOLIN trial, R/R-rituximab patients who received G plus bendamustine (B) followed by G-monotherapy (G + B) for up to 2 years had significantly improved progression-free survival and overall survival compared to patients receiving B-monotherapy. This study estimated the cost-effectiveness of G + B vs B-monotherapy for R/R-rituximab FL patients from a US payer perspective.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patient outcomes were simulated using a 3-state area under the curve model including progression-free survival, progressive disease, and death. This study used R/R-rituximab data from the National LymphoCare Study to extrapolate the GADOLIN trial's refractory FL progression-free and overall survival data to a R/R-rituximab FL population. Drug utilization and adverse events were based on trial data, and costs were based on Medicare reimbursements and drug wholesale acquisition costs in 2016. Utility estimates were derived from published literature. Post-progression treatment costs were based on observed post-progression therapies in GADOLIN. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess model uncertainty.
RESULTS: G + B resulted in an increase in quality-adjusted life years relative to B-monotherapy of 1.24 (95% CR = 0.61-1.87); the incremental total cost was $58,100 (95% CR = $54,500-$61,500). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $47,000 per QALY gained, and, based on probabilistic simulations, there was a 98% probability that G + B was cost-effective at the $100,000 per QALY threshold.
LIMITATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS: This US-based analysis suggests that treatment with G + B compared to B-monotherapy is likely cost-effective in R/R-rituximab FL patients. Modeling a R/R-rituximab population based on a synthesis of GADOLIN and the National LymphoCare Study data introduces uncertainty in the analysis. However, the findings were robust to sensitivity analyses.

Shikdar S, Totton D, Turco T, Rachshtut M
Presentation and management of the delayed type of hypersensitivity reaction with bendamustine.
Anticancer Drugs. 2018; 29(8):814-816 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bendamustine, an alkylating agent with cytotoxic properties, has been increasingly employed in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) either as a single agent or combination with rituximab. Although rarely reported, they can potentially cause hypersensitivity reactions with serious consequences. The objective of the case report was to offer a safe and effective bendamustine desensitization protocol to patients with a hypersensitivity reaction to this drug. We report a case of a patient with a CLL who developed a type IV hypersensitivity reaction to bendamustine and who was successfully treated by drug desensitization. A 51-year-old man with CLL was started on chemotherapy with bendamustin-rituximab developed a type IV hypersensitivity reaction 3 days later. A desensitization protocol was developed for the second cycle of bendamustine. This protocol was well tolerated, and no hypersensitivity reaction was observed. The desensitization protocol allowed us to continue the treatment, and to achieve a favorable response of the CLL. Patients with a hypersensitivity reaction to bendamustine can safely receive bendamustine by our rapid desensitization protocol.

Hiddemann W, Barbui AM, Canales MA, et al.
Immunochemotherapy With Obinutuzumab or Rituximab for Previously Untreated Follicular Lymphoma in the GALLIUM Study: Influence of Chemotherapy on Efficacy and Safety.
J Clin Oncol. 2018; 36(23):2395-2404 [PubMed] Related Publications
Purpose The GALLIUM study ( ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01332968) showed that obinutuzumab (GA101; G) significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) in previously untreated patients with follicular lymphoma relative to rituximab (R) when combined with cyclophosphamide (C), doxorubicin, vincristine (V), and prednisone (P; CHOP); CVP; or bendamustine. This report focuses on the impact of chemotherapy backbone on efficacy and safety. Patients and Methods A total of 1,202 patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma (grades 1 to 3a), advanced disease (stage III or IV, or stage II with tumor diameter ≥ 7 cm), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 to 2, and requiring treatment were randomly assigned 1:1 to G 1,000 mg on days 1, 8, and 15 of cycle 1 and day 1 of subsequent cycles or R 375 mg/m

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