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Targeted cancer drugs

Read about targeted cancer drugs for primary bone cancer and what the possible side effects are.

Targeted cancer drugs are treatments that change the way cells work and help the body to control the growth of cancer.

Mifamurtide

Mifamurtide is a type of targeted cancer drug. It is also called by its brand name, Mepact.

You might have mifamurtide if you are a child or young person with osteosarcoma and you:

  • have a high grade cancer that has not spread
  • have had surgery
  • are having chemotherapy

It's not a common treatment for people with bone cancer. You might have it as part of a clinical trial.

Side effects

The side effects of targeted drugs vary according to the particular drug you are having. You may have a few side effects. They can include:

  • an allergic reaction
  • diarrhoea
  • tiredness
  • flu-like symptoms including fever, muscle aches and sickness
  • low blood counts

When you go home

Treatment with targeted cancer drugs and chemotherapy can be difficult to cope with. Your nurse will give you numbers to call if you have any problems at home.

Tell your doctor or nurse about any problems or side effects you have.

You can call the Cancer Research UK nurses for information and support on freephone 0808 800 4040. The lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Last reviewed: 
12 Dec 2017
  • UK guidelines for the management of bone sarcomas
    C Gerrand and others
    Clinical Sarcoma Research, 2016. Volume 6

  • Bone sarcomas: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up
    The ESMO/European Sarcoma Network Working Group
    Annals of Oncology, 2014. Volume 25, Supplement 3

  • Cancer and its Management (7th edition)
    J Tobias and D Hochhauser
    Wiley-Blackwell, 2015

  • Mifamurtide for the treatment of osteosarcoma
    National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2011

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