In a nutshell
This study looked at the risk of infection in older patients with indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (nHL) treated with bendamustine (Treanda). Researchers concluded that nHL patients treated with bendamustine had increased risk of common bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
Bendamustine is a chemotherapy drug sometimes used to treat indolent (slow-growing) nHL such as follicular lymphoma. However, it can have the side effect of destroying many normal cells of the immune system.
A decreased immune system can lead to a higher risk of infection. It is important for researchers to learn if bendamustine is associated with an increased risk of infection when used to treat nHL patients.
Methods & findings
9,395 nHL patients treated with chemotherapy were included in the study. 13.2% of these patients had received bendamustine as part of the treatment. These patients were compared with those treated with other types of chemotherapy.
Bendamustine was linked with a 50% increased risk of bacterial pneumonia. Patients were up to 4 times more likely to become infected with viral infections, fungal infections, and other types of pneumonia. The increased risk was found mainly in patients who received bendamustine as a late part of their treatment. It was also linked with corticosteroid use and neutropenia (a low white cell count that fight infections).
The bottom line
The study concluded that nHL patients treated with bendamustine had an increased risk of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Published By :
Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
May 25, 2018
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