Melphalan hydrochloride (trade name Alkeran) is a chemotherapy drug belonging to the class of nitrogen mustard alkylating agents. It is used primarily to treat multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer, and occasionally malignant melanoma. Otherwise known as L-Phenylalanine Mustard, or L-PAM, melphalan is a phenylalanine derivative of mechlorethamine. The agent was first investigated as a possible drug for use in melanoma. It did not work, but was found to be of use in myeloma.


Oral or intravenous; dosing varies by purpose and route of administration as well as patient weight.

Side effects

Common side effects include:

Less common side effects include:

  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Scarring of lung tissue (usually only with prolonged use)
  • Hair loss
  • Rash
  • Itching

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