Kepivance® (palifermin)

Kepivance is a recombinant protein that is indicated to decrease the incidence and duration of severe oral mucositis in patients with hematologic malignancies receiving myelotoxic therapy requiring hematopoietic stem cell support.
In patients with oral mucositis, the cells in the mouth and throat are damaged by chemotherapy and/or radiation during cancer treatment. This can be extremely painful and trying for the patients. Oral mucositis has also been classified as one of the most debilitating side effects for patients with hematological malignancy that undergoes a bone marrow transplant. This damage to the mucous membrane leads to problems such as longer hospital stays, higher doses of drugs (such as morphine) and the need for an IV for nutritional and liquid intake.
 
Kepivance is produced in laboratory processes that attempt to mimic the activity of the endogenous keratinocyte growth factor (KGF). Growth factors are natural substances that the body produces to stimulate activity in certain cells. KGF is a type of growth factor specific to epithelial cells, which make up a large percentage of the cells that surround and protect the mucous membranes of the mouth. Stimulation and growth of epithelial cells through KGF is therefore an appropriate goal for the treatment of oral mucositis.