March 8, 2009

Treanda® plus Rituxan® Effective for Recurrent Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma


Treanda® plus Rituxan® Effective for Recurrent Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The treatment combination consisting of Treanda® (bendamustine) plus Rituxan® (rituximab) provides effective therapy for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) that has stopped responding to prior treatment. These results were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is a form of cancer that begins in the cells of the lymph system. The lymph system includes the spleen, thymus, tonsils, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and circulating immune cells. The main cells in the lymph system are lymphocytes, which exist in two forms: B and T-cells. Each of these cells has a specific function in fighting infection.

There are approximately 30 different types of NHL, all characterized by the excessive accumulation of atypical (cancerous) immune cells. The most common types of immune cells that become cancerous are called lymphocytes. Once cancerous lymphocytes can crowd the lymph system and suppress the formation and function of other immune and blood cells.

NHL is categorized by the type of lymphocyte it involves and by the rate at which the cancer grows-both are determined by the cells’ appearance under a microscope.

Recurrent NHL refers to cancer that has progressed following prior therapies. Researchers continue to evaluate novel agents that may improve outcomes in the treatment of recurrent NHL.

Treanda is a chemotherapy agent that was recently approved for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Treanda is also being evaluated in other types of cancers such as NHL. One advantage of Treanda is that it does not interfere with another commonly used form of chemotherapy known as alkylating agents. Treanda has been marketed and used clinically in Germany for many years in patients with NHL, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, breast cancer, and other solid tumors such as lung cancer.

Researchers from Canada and the United States recently conducted a clinical trial to further evaluate the effectiveness of Treanda among patients with recurrent NHL. This trial included 66 patients with recurrent mantle cell lymphoma or indolent (slow-growing) B-cell NHL. Patients were treated with Treanda plus Rituxan.

  • Anticancer responses were achieved in 92% of patients; 41% of patients achieved a complete disappearance of detectable cancer.
  • Median duration of anticancer responses was 21 months.
  • Median progression-free survival was nearly two years (23 months).
  • The main side effect was low levels of blood cells (immune cells and platelets).

The researchers concluded: “[Treanda] plus [Rituxan] is an active combination in patients with relapsed indolent and mantle cell lymphoma.” Patients diagnosed with NHL may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial further evaluating Treanda and Rituxan or other promising therapeutic approaches. Two sources of information regarding ongoing clinical trials include the National Cancer Institute ( and

Reference: Robinson K, Williams M, van der Jagt R, et al. Phase II multicenter study of bendamustine plus rituximab in patients with relapsed indolent b-cell and mantle cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology [early online publication] July 14, 2008. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2008.17.0001.

Related News:

Treanda® Included in NCCN Guidelines for CLL and NHL (5/5/2008)

Treanda™ Provides Lasting Responses in Recurrent Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (12/17/2007)

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