Alemtuzumab is a monoclonal antibody targeting the CD52 antigen expressed on the surface of both normal and malignant T and B lymphocytes, natural killer cells and cells of the myeloid lineage.25, 35
Alemtuzumab therapy results in bone marrow suppression and a profound lymphopaenia. This puts individuals at increased risk of developing serious bacterial, fungal, viral and protozoan infections.36
Management strategies include:25, 35
- prophylaxis for pneumocystis pneumonia with trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole, dapsone or pentamidine
- prophylaxis for varicella zoster and herpes simplex infections with acyclovir or valacyclovir
- antifungal therapy as required
- monitoring for signs and symptoms of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection during therapy and for 2 months post completion
- CMV surveillance, CT scans, and bronchoscopy.
Outline the evidence based information and supportive care strategies to prevent and manage consequences of immunosuppression in the individual receiving targeted therapies.