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J Clin Oncol. 2013 Jun 10;31(17):2103-9. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.46.5203. Epub 2013 May 6.

Multicenter phase II study of bendamustine plus rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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Yokohama City University Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan.



Effective and less aggressive therapies are required for patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who are not eligible for or have undergone autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT). The present phase II study assessed the efficacy and safety of bendamustine plus rituximab (BR) in this population.


Patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL treated with one to three prior chemotherapy regimens received rituximab 375 mg/m(2) intravenous (IV) infusion on day 1 and bendamustine 120 mg/m(2) by IV infusion on days 2 and 3 of each 21-day cycle for up to six cycles. The primary end point was overall response rate (ORR), and the secondary end points were complete response (CR) rate, progression-free survival (PFS), and safety.


Sixty-three patients were enrolled, and 59 received BR. The median age was 67 years (range, 36 to 75 years), and 62.7% of patients were 65 years of age or older. Fifty-seven patients (96.6%) were previously treated with rituximab-containing chemotherapy. The ORR was 62.7% (95% CI, 49.1% to 75.0%), with a CR rate of 37.3% (95% CI, 25.0% to 50.9%). The ORRs were comparable between patients ≥ 65 years of age and less than 65 years (62.2% and 63.6%, respectively). The median PFS was 6.7 months (95% CI, 3.6 to 13.7 months). The most frequently observed grade 3 or 4 adverse events were hematologic: lymphopenia (78.0%), neutropenia (76.3%), leukopenia (72.9%), CD4 lymphopenia (66.1%), and thrombocytopenia (22.0%).


BR is a promising salvage regimen for patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL after rituximab-containing chemotherapy, warranting further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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