Pralatrexate is an anti-cancer (chemotherapy) medicine that belongs to a group of medicines called antifolates used to treat patients with relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). Antifolates were the first type of antimetabolite drugs, the first effective chemotherapy agent discovered around 65 years ago. These drugs interfere with normal cell function.
Indications for use in lymphoma
Pralatrexate is approved and PBS listed for public funding for:
- The treatment of adult patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma (nodal, extranodal, and leukaemic/disseminated) who have relapsed or have progressed after at least one prior therapy
Prior to starting pralatrexate:
10 weeks prior to the first dose of pralatrexate:
- Hydroxocobalamin (Vit B12) 1000 micrograms intramuscularly and repeat every 8-10 weeks thereafter. Subsequent Vit B12 injections may be given the same day as pralatrexate.
Starting within the 10-day period preceding the first dose of pralatrexate:
- Folic acid 1 mg PO once daily continuously until 30 days after the last dose of pralatrexate.
Note: Prior to starting pralatrexate patients are advised to take folic acid and B12 supplements as premedication treatment to help minimise side effects
How is it given?
- Pralatrexate is given as an infusion into your vein over 3 to 5 minutes under the supervision of a doctor or nurse.
- Pralatrexate is usually given once a week for 6 weeks, with no treatment on the 7th week to complete the 7-week cycle.
- Several treatment cycles of pralatrexate may be given depending on the response to treatment.
- Prior to being given pralatrexate, your doctor will advise to take certain medicines or vitamin supplements and whilst on treatment to help minimise side effects.
There are a number of possible side effects that can occur with pralatrexate and can include:
- Inflammation, redness, or sores of the mouth
- Feeling weak and tired; fatigue
- Low platelets