The advent of high-dose melphalan with autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT), the availability of novel agents such as thalidomide, lenalidomide (immunomodulatory drugs or IMiDs) and bortezomib (proteasome inhibitor) and improvements in supportive care have allowed to increase overall survival in multiple myeloma (MM) patients; nevertheless, MM remains an incurable pathology. For this reason, newer agents are required for continued disease control. Bendamustine is an old drug rediscovered in the last decade. In fact, its unique mechanism of action with structural similarities to both alkylating agents and antimetabolities, but which is not cross-resistant to alkylating agents, has reawakened interest in the use of this drug in the treatment of MM. Studies have proven the safety and efficacy of bendamustine administered alone or in combination with new drugs in both upfront and relapse/refractory settings of MM patients, including those with renal impairment. Moreover, bendamustine has been successfully used as conditioning for autologous stem-cell transplantation. Finally, the use of bendamustine does not compromise peripheral blood stem-cell collection. This drug is generally well tolerated, with the majority of adverse events being due to myelosuppression. Non-haematological adverse events are infrequent and usually mild.
- Multiple myeloma
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