Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2005 Feb;5(1):39-51. doi: 10.1586/14737140.5.1.39.


Alemtuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against CD52, a small glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored glycoprotein that is highly expressed on normal T- and B-lymphocytes, and on a large proportion of malignant lymphoid cells, but not on hematopoietic progenitor cells. Over the past several years, a number of clinical trials have demonstrated the clinical activity of alemtuzumab in treating patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, T-cell malignancies such as T-prolymphocytic leukemia and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, as well as in the prevention and therapy of graft-versus-host disease in the setting of allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Its application in a number of autoimmune disorders is currently under investigation. The most significant side effect of alemtuzumab is predisposition to infections related to the associated profound lymphopenia. Despite this, and with appropriate and more effective antibiotic prophylaxis, it is likely that we will witness an expansion of the role of alemtuzumab in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alemtuzumab
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / therapeutic use*
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy*
  • CD52 Antigen
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infections / chemically induced


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • CD52 Antigen
  • CD52 protein, human
  • Glycoproteins
  • Alemtuzumab