Bendamustine plus rituximab for relapsed or refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma: A retrospective analysis

Francesca Merchionne, Giovanni Quintana, Francesco Gaudio, Carla Minoia, Giorgina Specchia, Attilio Guarini, Giovanni Quarta, Vincenzo Pavone, Angela Melpignano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who are not eligible for intensive chemotherapy because of comorbidities, advanced age, or relapse after heavy salvage regimens, treatment options are very limited and prognosis is poor. We retrospectively analyzed 29 patients with relapsed/refractory DLBCL treated with combination bendamustine plus rituximab (BR) between July 2010 and January 2014 to evaluate overall response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), duration of response (DOR) and treatment safety. Twenty-eight patients were available for this analysis. ORR was 50% (14 patients), with 39.3% CR (11 patients), and 10.7% PR (3 patients). SD was reported in 2 patients (7.2%) and PD in 12 patients (42.8%). At the median follow up of 8 months (range 1-37.4 months), the median PFS was 8 months for all patients (95% CI 5.5-26.6). The median DOR was 24.7 months (95% CI 3.2-24.7). Grade 3/4 toxicity observed included hematologic events: lymphopenia (42.8%), neutropenia (32.1%), anemia (17.2%), and thrombocytopenia (14.2%). BR can be considered to have a role in the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory DLBCL with limited therapeutic options, in that it can induce long-term remission in some patients with an acceptable toxicity profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1446-1450
Number of pages5
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Bendamustine
  • Rituximab
  • Salvage therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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