Medline ® Abstract for Reference 15
of 'Treatment of relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia'
Bendamustine combined with rituximab in patients with relapsed and/or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a multicenter phase II trial of the German Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Study Group.
Fischer K, Cramer P, Busch R, Stilgenbauer S, Bahlo J, Schweighofer CD, Böttcher S, Staib P, Kiehl M, Eckart MJ, Kranz G, Goede V, Elter T, Bühler A, Winkler D, Kneba M, Döhner H, Eichhorst BF, Hallek M, Wendtner CM
J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(26):3559. Epub 2011 Aug 15.
PURPOSE: The objective of this trial was to evaluate safety and efficacy of bendamustine combined with rituximab (BR) in patients with relapsed and/or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventy-eight patients, including 22 patients with fludarabine-refractory disease (28.2%) and 14 patients (17.9%) with deletion of 17p, received BR chemoimmunotherapy. Bendamustine was administered at a dose of 70 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 2 combined with rituximab 375 mg/m(2) on day 0 of the first course and 500 mg/m(2) on day 1 during subsequent courses for up to six courses.
RESULTS: On the basis of intent-to-treat analysis, the overall response rate was 59.0% (95% CI, 47.3% to 70.0%). Complete response, partial response, and nodular partial response were achieved in 9.0%, 47.4%, and 2.6% of patients, respectively.Overall response rate was 45.5% in fludarabine-refractory patients and 60.5% in fludarabine-sensitive patients. Among genetic subgroups, 92.3% of patients with del(11q), 100% with trisomy 12, 7.1% with del(17p), and 58.7% with unmutated IGHV status responded to treatment. After a median follow-up time of 24 months, the median event-free survival was 14.7 months. Severe infections occurred in 12.8% of patients. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia were documented in 23.1%, 28.2%, and 16.6% of patients, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Chemoimmunotherapy with BR is effective and safe in patients with relapsed CLL and has notable activity in fludarabine-refractory disease. Major but tolerable toxicities were myelosuppression and infections. These promising results encouraged us to initiate a further phase II trial evaluating the BR regimen in patients with previously untreated CLL.
Department I of Internal Medicine, University of Cologne, Kerpener Str 62, 50937 Köln, Germany.