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Annals of Hematology

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 121–132 | Cite as

Management of infections in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated with alemtuzumab

  • Thomas Elter
  • Janne J. Vehreschild
  • John Gribben
  • Oliver A. Cornely
  • Andreas Engert
  • Michael Hallek
Original Article

Abstract

Infection is a significant cause of morbidity and death in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Increased infectious events may arise from the multiple courses of immunosuppressive therapy and progressive deterioration of a patient’s immune system over the course of disease. The humanized, anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab (Campath or Campath-1H) has shown notable activity for both untreated and fludarabine-refractory CLL. The antibody not only targets malignant cells but also affects normal, healthy immune cells. The cumulative effects of the malignancy and successive courses of treatments adversely impinge on a patient’s defense response to certain bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. In this review article, we provide an overview of common infectious events associated with alemtuzumab therapy in CLL. We also discuss recommendations for effectively monitoring and managing infections in CLL patients.

Keywords

Alemtuzumab Campath CLL Infection Management 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This manuscript was supported in part by the German Competence Network on Malignant Lymphoma (KML) of the BMB-F. Editorial assistance for this manuscript was provided by Meniscus Health Care Communications, with the financial support of Schering AG. JG is a speaker for Roche, Genentech and Schering AG/Berlex. OAC is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF grant 01KN0706); has received research grants from Astellas, Basilea, Bayer, Genzyme, Gilead, Pfizer, Merck, Schering-Plough, and Vicuron; is a consultant to Astellas, Basilea, F2G, Gilead, Pfizer, Merck, Mölnlycke, Nektar, Schering-Plough, and Zeneus; and served at the speakers’ bureau of Astellas, Gilead, Merck, Schering-Plough, SpePharm, and United Medical.

Disclosures

JJV received Travel grants from Astellas, Gilead, Merck, Pfizer, Schering-Plough, and Viropharma. TE, AE, MH received travel, speaker and research grants from BayerSchering.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Elter
    • 1
  • Janne J. Vehreschild
    • 1
  • John Gribben
    • 2
  • Oliver A. Cornely
    • 1
    • 3
  • Andreas Engert
    • 1
  • Michael Hallek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Hematology, Oncology and Infectious DiseasesUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Cancer Research UKBarts and the London School of MedicineLondonUK
  3. 3.Center for Clinical TrialsUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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