Cancer Home > Bendamustine
Important Information for Your Healthcare ProviderYou should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving this medication if you have:
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- A weakened immune system, an infection, or if you easily get infections
- Anemia (low red blood cells)
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Treanda and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Treanda and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Bendamustine to learn more, including information on who should not use the drug.)
How Does Bendamustine Work?Although the exact way it works is unknown, bendamustine is thought to attach to DNA and cause damage. Because DNA is necessary for cancer cells to grow and divide, bendamustine causes cell death.
Clinical EffectsIn clinical studies, people with CLL were given either bendamustine or another cancer medicine known as chlorambucil (Leukeran®). In this study, 59 percent of people given bendamustine responded to the medicine, compared with 26 percent of people given chlorambucil. Those given bendamustine went about 18 months without their condition getting worse, while people given chlorambucil went about 6 months.
In studies of people with NHL, 74 percent of people given bendamustine responded to the medication, and the response lasted about 9.2 months. In this study, bendamustine was not compared to another medication; however, everyone in the study had already undergone treatment with rituximab (Rituxan®) without success.