(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.
Common side effects include:
Less common side effects include:
- Severe allergic reactions
- Scarring of lung tissue (usually only with prolonged use)
- Hair loss