What Is Pralatrexate Used For?

Adults who have a certain type of cancer called peripheral T-cell lymphoma may undergo treatment with pralatrexate. This prescription drug is approved for use when this particular cancer has come back or has not adequately responded to other treatment. Pralatrexate may also be used off-label to treat other types of lymphoma, including cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. This drug works by interfering with how the cancer cells multiply.

An Overview of Uses for Pralatrexate

Pralatrexate (Folotyn®) is a prescription medication approved to treat peripheral T-cell lymphoma in people whose condition has returned or has not improved after undergoing a different treatment. It is given as an injection into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, injection).
 

What Is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a cancer that affects cells of the immune system. It occurs when lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) begin to grow abnormally. Lymphoma is often divided into two general types -- Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Each of these types can be further divided into many different kinds.
 
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can be categorized by the type of immune cell involved, as well as how quickly the cancer progresses. The two main types of immune cells that can become lymphomas are B-lymphocytes (more commonly B-cells) or T-lymphocytes (T-cells). Lymphomas can be slow-growing (also called indolent) or fast-growing (aggressive). Peripheral T-cell lymphoma is an aggressive lymphoma that begins in T-cells.
 
One of the earlier symptoms of peripheral T-cell lymphoma is swelling of the lymph nodes, usually in the neck, armpit, or groin. Other symptoms may include:
 
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Coughing, trouble breathing, or chest pain
  • Weakness or tiredness.
 
Pralatrexate is one of many possible treatments for peripheral T-cell lymphoma. It is specifically approved for the treatment of relapsed or refractory disease. Relapsed means there was initially a response to treatment, but the cancer cells grew back. Refractory means the cancer cells did not respond to treatment. Pralatrexate has not been shown to improve overall survival in people with peripheral T-cell lymphoma.
 
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Pralatrexate Drug Information

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