Combination of bendamustine and rituximab as front-line therapy for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: Multicenter, retrospective clinical practice experience with 279 cases outside of controlled clinical trials

Massimo Gentile, Katja Zirlik, Stefania Ciolli, Francesca R. Mauro, Nicola Di Renzo, Lucia Mastrullo, Francesco Angrilli, Stefano Molica, Giovanni Tripepi, Annamaria Giordano, Francesco Di Raimondo, Carmine Selleri, Marta Coscia, Maurizio Musso, Lorella Orsucci, Donato Mannina, Angela Rago, Angela Giannotta, Felicetto Ferrara, Yair HerishanuLev Shvidel, Tamar Tadmor, Ilaria Scortechini, Fiorella Ilariucci, Roberta Murru, Attilio Guarini, Gerardo Musuraca, Giuseppe Mineo, Iolanda Vincelli, Annalisa Arcari, Giuseppe Tarantini, Giuseppe Caparrotti, Annalisa Chiarenza, Luciano Levato, Maria Rosaria Villa, Maria Rosaria De Paolis, Pier Luigi Zinzani, Aaron Polliack, Fortunato Morabito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recently, encouraging results in terms of safety and efficacy have been obtained using bendamustine-rituximab (BR) in untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) patients enrolled in a phase II study. Here, we report a retrospective international multicenter study of CLL patients treated with BR as front-line therapy. The cohort included 279 patients with progressive CLL from 33 centers (29 Italian, 3 Israeli and 1 German) who received at least 1 cycle of BR as first-line treatment during the 2008-2014 period. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of BR administered as front-line therapy, outside of controlled clinical trials. Median age was 70 years (range, 43-86 years); 62.4% were males and 35.8% had Binet stage C. Forty-two patients (15.2%) were unfit (cumulative illness rating scale [CIRS] score ≥7), and 140 (50.2%) had creatinine clearance ≤70 ml/min. Fluorescent in situ hybridisation analysis, available for 192 cases, showed that 21 (10.9%) had del11q and 18 (9.4%) del17p. The overall response rate (ORR) was 86.4%, with a complete remission rate of 28%. Patients with del17p had an ORR of 66.7%. After median follow-up of 24 months, the 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 69.9%; CIRS ≥7, immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable-region (IGHV) unmutated status, del17p and BR dose intensity <80% were independently associated with shorter PFS. Grade III or IV neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anaemia were observed in 25.9%, 15.4%, and 15.1% of patients, respectively. Twenty-four patients (8.6%) had severe infections. BR is also an effective and safe regimen for untreated CLL patients, outside of controlled clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-165
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bendamustine
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  • Rituximab
  • Therapy

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