Background Bendamustine may be a potential treatment option for patients with myeloma, but little is known about the utility of bendamustine as a salvage treatment, especially in Asian patients. Methods We performed a multicenter retrospective study of patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma who received bendamustine and prednisone. Results The records of 65 heavily pre-treated patients, who had undergone bortezomib and lenalidomide treatment (median number of previous treatments: 5), were analyzed. The median time from diagnosis to bendamustine treatment was 3.8 years, and the median patient age was 63 years (range, 38-77 yr). The responses to the last treatment before bendamustine were refractory disease (N=52, 80%) or disease progression from partial response (N=13, 20%). Twenty-three patients responded to the treatment, with an overall response rate of 35% (23/65), and the median number of bendamustine treatment cycles was two (range, 1-5 cycles). The median overall survival after bendamustine treatment was 5.5 months and the overall survival rate in responders to bendamustine was significantly better than that in non-responders (P=0.036). Conclusion Bendamustine may be a potential salvage treatment to extend survival in a select group of heavily pre-treated patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma.
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