Bendamustine is being increasingly used in patients with indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This review summarizes available evidence regarDing the effects of bendamustine on the immune system, examines its role in consequent infections as reported in randomized controlled trials, prospective observational investigations, retrospective studies and individual published case reports. Myelosuppression incluDing lymphopenia occurs relatively frequently after therapy with bendamustine. It is mostly CD4 + T cell counts that are suppressed, yet when given in combination with rituximab, both T cell and B cell depletion have been recorded. In addition, hypogammaglobulinemia after bendamustine therapy has also been reported. Variable infection rates have been documented and these include different bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Finally, we also consider issues relating to the use of prophylactic antibiotics in patients receiving the drug.
- Hematological malignancies
- Immune suppression