Bendamustine plus rituximab is an effective therapy with manageable toxicity in patients with relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma, a recent study published in the journal Annals of Hematology has shown.1

For the multicenter, open-label, single-arm, phase 2 trial, researchers enrolled 45 patients with relapsed/refractory non-blastoid mantle cell lymphoma, of which 82% had stage 4 disease. All patients received bendamustine 90 mg/m2 on days 1 and 2 plus rituximab 375 mg/m2 on day 1 for 6 28-day cycles.

Results showed that 82% of patients achieved a response, 40% achieved a complete response, and 42% achieved a partial one. Researchers also found that 75% of patients achieved a complete metabolic response.

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The study demonstrated a 1-year progression-free survival rate and 3-year overall survival rate of 67% and 55%, respectively.

In regard to safety, the most common nonhematologic adverse events were nausea, fatigue, decreased appetite, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and decreased weight. Grade 3 to 4 neutropenia and lymphopenia occurred in 44% and 89% of patients, respectively.

Mantle cell lymphoma is an uncommon form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that comprises only approximately 5% of lymphomas. Although not fast-growing, it can be a challenging disease to treat. Newer treatments such as ibrutinib, however, may improve long-term survival.2


  1. Czuczman MS, Goy A, Lamonica D, Munteanu MC, van der Jagt RH. Phase II study of bendamustine combined with rituximab in relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma: efficacy, tolerability, and safety findings. Ann Hematol. 2015;94(12):2025-2032.
  2. Types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. American Cancer Society website. Last revised March 11, 2015. Accessed November 4, 2015.