Poster Board III-630
Bendamustine hydrochloride is a bifunctional alkylating agent with novel mechanisms of action. Although bendamustine is known to have anti-tumor activity against indolent B-NHL as a single agent, efficacy in MCL with bendamustine monotherapy has not been reported. To assess the efficacy and toxicity of bendamustine in patients with relapsed indolent B-NHL and MCL, we conducted a multicenter phase II study.
Patients diagnosed with relapsed or refractory indolent B-NHL or MCL, 75= or >age= or >20, and PS 0-1 (ECOG) were enrolled in the study. Bendamustine was administered intravenously at a dose of 120 mg/m2 infused over 60 minutes on days 1 and 2 of each 21-day treatment cycle for up to 6 cycles (minimum of 3 cycles). The primary endpoint was the overall response rate (ORR). Tumor response was assessed by a central radiological review committee according to the International Workshop Criteria for NHL (1999).
A total of 69 patients were enrolled and treated, including 52 (75%) cases of follicular lymphoma (FL) and 11 (16%) cases of MCL, ages 33 to 75 years, with predominantly stage III/IV indolent B-NHL (86%) or MCL (64%). The median number of unique prior therapies was two (range, 1 to 16), and sixty-six patients (96%) had received rituximab as a prior therapy. Twenty-nine patients (42%) completed the planned six cycles of chemotherapy, with fifty patients (72%) receiving 3 or more cycles. Dose reduction of bendamustine was required in 11 patients (16%). The ORR was 91% (63 of 69 patients; 95% CI, 82% to 97%) with a complete response (CR) rate of 67% (%CR), including %CRu (46 of 69 patients; 95% CI, 54% to 78%). The ORR in FL and MCL was 90% and 100%, respectively. The %CR in FL and MCL was 66% and 73%, respectively. Median progression-free survival (PFS) for all 69 patients was not reached at the median follow-up duration of 248 days (39-359 days). Median PFS for indolent B-NHL (58) and MCL (11) patients was not reached at the median follow-up duration of 254 days and 226 days, respectively. Hematologic toxicities, including grade 4 lymphopenia (72%) and neutropenia (48%), were the most frequently reported toxicities in patients. Non-hematologic toxicities were mild, with no grade 4 non-hematologic toxicity recorded. The most frequently reported grade 3 non-hematologic toxicities were GI toxicities (9%) including grade 3 vomiting (4%) and anorexia (3%), and infections (7%) which included one case of grade 3 febrile neutropenia, pneumonia, herpes infection, and viral pharyngitis.
Bendamustine monotherapy is a highly effective and less toxic treatment in patients with relapsed or refractory indolent B-NHL and MCL who have been pretreated (96%) with rituximab. It is noteworthy that a very high complete response rate (73%) was achieved in relapsed or refractory MCL patients although the number of patients was relatively small.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.