Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a virus (biopharmaceutical drug) to treat melanoma lesions (cancer) which cannot be operated on. It is injected directly into the lesion.
Talimogene laherparepvec is an oncolytic (against cancer) virus which is genetically modified to treat non-operable local skin lesions in patients with recurrent melanoma after the initial surgery.
T-VEC should not be used in patients-
• If there is an allergy or hypersensitivity to Talimogene.
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
• Patients with low immunity, leukemia (blood cancer), AIDS or any HIV related illnesses, and those on immunosuppressive therapy. As it is an inactivated herpes virus it can cause life-threatening herpes infection in patients who are having low immunity.
T-VEC should be given by injection into skin or into nodal lesions of melanoma that are visible, palpable (easy to touch) or identifiable using ultrasound guidance.
1ml single-use vial contains: 106 plaque-forming units (PFU) per ml as 1st dose up to 4ml can be given for all the lesions and 108 PFU per ml for the subsequent
It should be injected into the lesion in a well-equipped hospital setting by a healthcare professional.
The lesion and surrounding areas should be cleaned with an alcohol swab after which a local anesthetic is injected around the periphery of the lesion. Then, T-VEC is injected into the lesions evenly and completely until the full dose is uniformly dispersed.
After injection, pressure should be applied to the injection site(s) with a sterile gauze for at least 30 seconds. The site should be kept clean and dry.
Patients are advised to cover the injection site for at least a week.
• Accidental exposure to T-VEC may lead to herpes infection.
• Direct contact with injected lesions, dressings, or body fluids should be avoided.
• The contacted area should be cleaned properly if accidental exposure occurs.
• Caution is required in case of pregnancy, breastfeeding women, patients with low immunity and patients with autoimmune disorders.
• Few patients may develop plasmacytoma(tumor) at the injection site.
General: fatigue, chills, fever, nausea , flu-like illness, and pain at the site of injection.
• Do not take more than recommended dose which is 4 ml.
• Women in the reproductive age group should be advised to use an effective contraception to prevent pregnancy during treatment with T-VEC.
• If a pregnant woman was exposed to T-VEC accidentally and if she had active herpes infection, the virus can cross the placental barrier and cause serious side effects in the developing baby.
Acyclovir or other antiherpetic viral agents may change the effectiveness of T-VEC.
Store T-VEC at −90°C to −70°C (−130°F to −94°F).
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