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What Is Bendamustine Used For?

Adults who have recently been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia may benefit from chemotherapy treatment with bendamustine. This drug is also used for treating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that has become worse despite certain other treatment. Bendamustine may also be prescribed off-label to treat other conditions, such as multiple myeloma, breast cancer, or other types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

An Overview of Uses for Bendamustine

Bendamustine (Treanda®) is a prescription injectable medication that belongs to a group of medicines known as alkylating agents. It is given intravenously (by IV). Bendamustine is used to treat the following types of blood cell cancers:

Bendamustine Use for the Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow (the soft tissue inside most bones where blood cells are made). When working normally, the bone marrow makes healthy blood cells that carry out a variety of important functions in the body. Some of these functions include:
  • Helping the body to fight infections (white blood cells)
  • Carrying oxygen throughout the body (red blood cells)
  • Helping the blood to clot so you do not bleed or bruise too much (platelets).
When someone has leukemia, however, the bone marrow produces large amounts of abnormal white blood cells that do not work like normal blood cells. These abnormal cells grow out of control and eventually crowd out the normal, healthy blood cells. Without the right amount of normal, healthy blood cells, a person with leukemia can develop serious problems, such as infections, anemia, and bleeding.
There are many different kinds of leukemia (see Types of Leukemia). Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (also sometimes called chronic lymphatic leukemia) is a slow-growing type that starts in a certain kind of white blood cell known as lymphocytes. This particular form is most likely to affect adults; it rarely occurs in children.
Bendamustine is one of several treatment options for CLL. It is approved for use in people who have been newly diagnosed with the condition.
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