Campath (monoclonal antibody)

campath
Alemtuzumab bound to a
small synthetic antigen.

Alemtuzumab, better known by its most high-profile trade name Campath, is a monoclonal antibody used in the treatment of some types of leukemia and lymphoma. It can be administered either intravenously or subcutaneously.

Drug profile

  • Class: Monoclonal antibody
  • Mechanism of action:
  • Treatment type: Biological therapy
  • US approval: 2001 (accelerated); 2007 (regular)
  • Synonyms: Mabcampath
  • FDA Use-in-Pregnancy Rating: Category C

What Campath is effective for and why

Campath has been approved by the FDA as a single agent in the treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Campath side effects

Like other monoclonal antibodies, alemtuzumab is associated with a laundry list of potential side effects. Many of them are experienced by only a minority of patients, but others are considered serious and clinically significant. They include immunosuppression, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, hypotension, and anorexia, along with a host of bacterial, fungal, viral or protozoan infections; this side effect presents the largest threat to the life of the patient since the patient is immunocompromised while receiving alemtuzumab and is therefore vulnerable to opportunistic infections.

References

  • Cancer Drug Manual, BC Cancer Agency
  • FDA approval, National Cancer Institute
  • Physician's Desk Reference 61st Edition 2007; Thompson PDR, New Jersey.

Significant studies relating to alemtuzumab


 

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