Outpatient bendamustine and idarubicin for upfront therapy of elderly acute myeloid leukaemia/myelodysplastic syndrome: a phase I/II study using an innovative statistical design.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


British journal of haematology, Volume 166, Issue 3, p.375-81 (2014)


2014, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, May 2014, Research Trials Office Core Facility - Biostatistics Service, Specimen Processing Core Facility


Combinations of agents may improve outcomes among elderly acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients. We performed an adaptive phase I/II trial for newly-diagnosed AML or high-risk MDS patients aged ≥50 years using a Bayesian approach to determine whether 1 of 3 doses of bendamustine (45, 60, 75 mg/m(2) days 1-3), together with idarubicin (12 mg/m(2) days 1-2), might provide a complete response (CR) rate ≥40% with <30% grade 3-4 non-haematological toxicity. We treated 39 patients (34 AML; five MDS with >10% marrow blasts; median age 73 years). None of the three bendamustine doses in combination with idarubicin met the required CR and toxicity rates; the 75 mg/m(2) dose because of excess toxicity (two of three patients) and the 60 mg/m(2) dose because of low efficacy (CR rate 10/33), although no grade 3-4 non-haematological toxicity was seen at this dose. Median survival was 7·2 months. All patients began treatment as outpatients but hospitalization was required in 90% (35/39). Although we did not find a dose of bendamustine combined with idarubicin that would provide a CR rate of >40% with acceptable toxicity, bendamustine may have activity in AML/MDS patients, suggesting its addition to other regimens may be warranted.