Diego Villa, MD, FRCPC, Discusses Bendamustine and Rituximab as Induction Therapy in MCL

January 3, 2020

Diego Villa, MD, FRCPC, elaborated on the progress made with bendamustine and rituximab as induction therapy for transplant eligible and ineligible patients with mantle cell lymphoma.

Diego Villa, MD, FRCPC, of BC Cancer in Vancouver Canada, sat down to discuss induction therapy with bendamustine and rituximab (Rituxan) for transplant eligible and ineligible patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) at the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, held December 7-10, in Orlando, Florida.

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The analysis shows that you can achieve excellent response rates with an overall response rate of 88% and complete response rate of 55% when you treat all comers with BR (bendamustine and rituximab). In our study there was no difference between those over the age of 65 or under the age of 65 in terms of response rates.

Well, our studies definitely support the use of BR in the transplant ineligible population. Our studies are pretty much in line with the STiL and BRIGHT studies showing improved PFS compared to R-CHOP, and in fact our studies suggest that there might be an overall survival improvement although we included patients treated with CVPR as that was part of our previous standard.

In terms of the transplant eligible patients, our studies suggest that BR is indeed an effective induction regimen for these patients. As you know, there is no defined standard of care in the literature for the front-line therapy of mantle cell lymphoma in transplant eligible patients, and our studies certainly suggest that this could be a reasonable alternative for some patients.