People who have chronic lymphocytic leukemia or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may receive a chemotherapy drug called Treanda. It works to kill cancer cells by damaging the DNA. This drug comes as a powder that is mixed with water and given slowly into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, infusion). Some people may experience side effects like nausea, fatigue, and vomiting.
What Is Treanda?Treanda® (bendamustine) is a prescription medication approved to treat certain cancers of the blood cells. Specifically, it is used in people who have been newly diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or for those who have a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) that has become worse, despite treatment with another medication. It belongs to a group of drugs known as alkylating agents.
How Does Treanda Work?Although the exact way it works is unknown, Treanda is thought to attach to DNA and cause damage. Because DNA is necessary for cancer cells to grow and divide, Treanda causes cell death.
Clinical EffectsIn clinical studies, people with CLL were given either Treanda or another cancer medicine known as chlorambucil (Leukeran®). In this study, 59 percent of people given Treanda responded to the medicine, compared with 26 percent of people given chlorambucil. Those given Treanda 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 those given Treanda responded to the medication, and the response lasted about 9.2 months. In this study, Treanda was not compared to another medication; however, everyone in the study had already undergone treatment with rituximab (Rituxan®) without success.