ASH: Bendamustine Plus Rituximab Achieves Complete Remission in MALT Lymphoma

Share this content:
ATLANTA — Bendamustine plus rituximab is a promising first-line therapy for MALT lymphoma, according to a study presented during the 54th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition.

The combination of bendamustine and rituximab in first-line treatment of MALT lymphoma “achieved an overall response rate (ORR) of 100% after only 3 cycles,” reported lead author Antonio Salar, MD, of the Hospital del Mar's Hematology Department in Barcelona, Spain. “Complete remission rate was 98% after completing treatment plan.” Of note, a large majority of patients (77%) required only 4 cycles to achieve complete remission.”

Previous studies showed that bendamustine is active in relapsed and refractory indolent lymphomas with or without anti-CD20 antibodies, suggesting that bendamustine plus rituximab (BR) might be an attractive first-line treatment for MALT lymphoma, the authors explained. A prospective phase 2 trial enrolled 60 patients during 2009 and 2010 to receive bendamustine (90mg/m2 on days 1 and 2) plus rituximab (375mg/m2 on day 1), every 28 days. Median participant age was 62 years (range, 50-72 years) and 57% of patients were female.  

Patients were evaluated after completing 3 cycles, and if complete remission was achieved, patients received an additional cycle. If partial response was achieved, patients were administered 3 additional cycles, for a total of 6 cycles.
Complete response rate after 3 cycles was higher in patients with gastric origin in comparison with non-gastric (90% vs 64%) (multifocal cases 100%), Dr. Salar and colleagues reported. “At the end of treatment, overall response rate was 100% with complete remission/unconfirmed complete remission of 98%.”

Only two patients received fewer than 4 cycles, the authors reported. “The rituximab dose was not modified at any cycle and only 5 patients required dose reduction of bendamustine (median dose intensity: 0.98).”

During the median follow-up of 17 months, 1 patient experienced toxicity  and 1 had a relapse; 2 deaths occurred that were unrelated to treatment.

Grade 3/4 neutropenia occurred in 14% of patients, the authors reported. Grade 3/4 nonhematologic toxicities were documented in 13 patients.

“Our data demonstrated that immunochemotherapy with bendamustine and rituximab has an excellent efficacy with a low toxicity profile,  making this response-adapted schedule a foremost therapeutic strategy for this type of lymphoma,” the authors concluded.

Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Cancer Therapy Advisor to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Prostate Cancer Regimens Drugs
Rare Cancers Regimens
Renal Cell Carcinoma Regimens Drugs
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs
Urologic Cancers Regimens Drugs