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Ann Hematol. 2012 Jul;91(7):1013-22. doi: 10.1007/s00277-012-1422-5. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Bendamustine with or without rituximab for the treatment of heavily pretreated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients : A multicenter retrospective study on behalf of the Italian Lymphoma Foundation (FIL).

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SOD Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy.


Bendamustine is an alkylating agent with a nitrogen mustard group and a purine-like benzimidazole group. The aim of this study was to collect all the Italian experiences with this drug in order to evaluate the results in term of response to therapy and toxicities. We analyzed lymphoma patients treated in 24 Italian haematological centres with bendamustine alone or in combination with anti-CD20 antibody. One hundred seventy-five relapsed or refractory lymphoma patients were enrolled. The median age was 69 years (range 26-87). Seventy-nine patients were relapsed, 35 were refractory and 61 presented a progressive disease after partial response. The diagnoses were 60 indolent non-follicular lymphomas, 34 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, 48 follicular lymphomas, 30 mantle cell lymphomas and three peripheral T-cell lymphomas. All patients were evaluable for response: 52 (29%) with complete remission, 72 (43%) with partial response with an overall response rate of 71%, and 51 non-responders. With a median observation period of 10 months (1-43), 70% of patients are alive. In summary, this retrospective study shows that treatment with bendamustine alone or in combination with rituximab is a safe and effective regimen in a subset of multi-resistant patients.

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