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Hitz F.,Kantonsspital St. Gallen St. Gallen Switzerland | Zucca E.,IOSI Instituto Oncologico della Svizzera Italiana Bellinzona Switzerland | Pabst T.,Inselspital Bern Bern Switzerland | Fischer N.,Kantonsspital Winterthur Winterthur Switzerland | And 12 more authors.
British Journal of Haematology | Year: 2016

An increasing number of older patients are suffering from aggressive lymphoma. Effective and more tolerable treatment regimens are urgently needed for this growing patient population. Patients with aggressive lymphoma not eligible for anthracycline-based first-line therapy or intensive salvage regimens were treated with the rituximab-bendamustine-lenalidomide (R-BL) regimen (rituximab 375 mg/m2 day 1, bendamustine 70 mg/m2 d 1, 2, lenalidomide 10 mg d 1-21) for six cycles every 4 weeks. Forty-one patients with a median age of 75 (range 40-94) years were enrolled: 33 patients had substantial co-morbidities. 13 patients were not eligible for anthracycline-based first-line chemotherapy, 28 patients had relapsed/refractory disease. The primary endpoint, overall response, was achieved by 25 (61%) patients (95% confidence interval 45-76%). Grade ≥ 3 toxicity comprised haematological (59%), skin (15%), constitutional (15%) and neurological (12%) events. 9 patients died during trial treatment: 5 from lymphoma progression, 2 from toxicity, 2 with sudden death. After a median follow-up of 25·9 (interquartile range 20·4-31·6) months, 13 patients were still alive. Median overall survival was 14·5 months. In conclusion, R-BL can be considered a treatment option for elderly patients with treatment naïve or relapsed/refractory aggressive lymphoma not eligible for standard aggressive regimens. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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