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Role of bendamustine in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia

By Saad Jamshed and Bruce D Cheson


Major advances in the management of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) include an enhanced ability to make an accurate diagnosis and define clinically meaningful prognostic groups, while improving outcome through more effective therapeutic regimens and supportive care. Nevertheless, CLL remains an incurable disorder and new, active agents are needed. Bendamustine, a unique cytotoxic agent with structural similarities to both alkylating agents and antimetabolites, was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of CLL and rituximab-refractory indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In a randomized trial, bendamustine was superior to chlorambucil, with comparable toxicity. Combinations with other active agents including rituximab and lenalidomide are in development. Nevertheless, numerous questions concerning the ideal use of this agent remain to be addressed, including the optimal dose and schedule and mechanisms of resistance. The availability of bendamustine provides another effective treatment option for patients with lymphoproliferative disorders. Rational development of combination regimens will improve the outlook for patients with CLL

Topics: Review
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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