New Drug Regimen Edges Out Standard Chemotherapy in Lymphomas

A new drug regimen that combines Treanda (bendamustine) and Rituxan (rituximab) has been shown to more than double progression-free survival time in patients with slow-growing and mantle cell lymphomas compared with standard chemotherapy, according to a German study of 514 patients.

The new regimen, which is based on a drug that has been used for decades in Europe and has been available in the U.S. since 2008, is not only more effective but also less toxic, according to researchers. In the study, patients with previously untreated indolent non-Hodgkin or mantle cell lymphomas were randomly assigned to receive the new regimen or standard chemotherapy, called Rituxan-CHOP (cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin [doxorubicin], vincristine and prednisone). Results indicated progression-free survival of nearly six years in the Treanda-Rituxan group compared with 2.6 years in the standard chemotherapy group. Side effects included mild skin reactions.

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