Alemtuzumab

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Definition
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Genetically engineered, humanized, monoclonal IgG1 Kappa antibody that specifically binds to the 21 to 28 kDa glycoprotein CD52 on the cell surface of lymphocytes. CD52 is a surface antigen expressed by B and T lymphocytes. The antibody is produced in a suspension culture of mammalian cells (ovarian cells of the Chinese hamster).

Indication
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Chronic lymphatic leukemia (CLL), Sézary syndrome. Indication is given in the absence of or insufficient improvement on the administration of alkylants and nucleoside analogues such as Fludarabine. Alemtuzumab shows a good response rate in pre-treated patients and may prolong the mean survival time. However, it does not offer a curative therapeutic approach, just as conventional cytostatic drugs do not.

Dosage and method of use
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Maintenance doses in CLL have been reported as 30 mg 3 times/week. The mean therapy time is 12 months. In Sézary syndrome, a "low-dose" therapy concept with 3 times/week 15 mg has been successfully applied (due to the still high rate of infection complications, a dosage of 3 times/week 10 mg is recommended).

Undesirable effects
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Severe hemologic toxicity (grade 3-4 cytopenia up to 45%), increased risk of infectious complications (bacterial sepsis).

Preparations
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MabCampath

Literature
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  1. Bernengo MG et al Low-dose intermittent alemtuzumab in the treatment of Sézary syndrome: clinical and immunological findings in 14 patients. Haematologica 92: 785-792

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020