Your UW Health Surgical Oncology Team suggests Imlygic (talimogene laherparepvec) as part
of your treatment. You will be given this treatment by a member of your UW Health team.
Imlygic ("im m-LY-jik") is a drug that is made from Herpes Simplex Virus Type I (the cold sore
virus). Imlygic grows only in cancer cells, not in healthy cells. When it grows, the cancer cells
burst open and are damaged. We hope this will “boost” your immune system to seek out and
destroy the melanoma.
About your treatment:
Your treatment will be given by injection (shot) into your tumor(s). Your health care team will
decide which tumor(s) to inject and may not inject every one. The injected tumors will be
covered with a clear plastic bandage for at least 7 days. You will get your second treatment 3
weeks after your first treatment. After that, you can get your treatments every 2 weeks. Your
team will tell you how many cycles you will get. You may be treated for 6 months or longer.
Before your treatment:
Before you are given Imlygic, your team needs to know all the medicines you are taking,
including prescription, over the counter, vitamins and herbal supplements.
They also need to know if you:
ξ Are taking steroids or other medicines that can weaken your immune system.
ξ Are taking antiviral medicines to treat or prevent herpes, such as acyclovir.
ξ Have or have ever had conditions such as HIV or AIDS, blood or bone marrow cancer,
autoimmune diseases or other diseases that can weaken your immune system.
ξ Have had any vaccinations (shots) lately.
ξ Have close contact with someone who has a weakened immune system or is pregnant.
ξ Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Imlygic can harm your unborn baby. Both men and women need to use birth control
before, during, and for many months after this treatment. Do not get pregnant and do not
get anyone else pregnant. Talk to your UW Health Care Team about your birth control
Side effects of Imlygic:
The most common side effects are flu-like symptoms that can last for 1-2 days. Other rare side
effects can occur. Your doctor will discuss this with you.
The most common side effects are:
ξ Feeling tired
ξ Infection of the skin
ξ Pain at the injection site
Tell your Surgical Oncology Team right away if you have any of these signs and symptoms of a
ξ Pain, burning or tingling in a blister around your mouth
ξ Eye pain, light sensitivity, discharge from your eyes or blurry vision
ξ Weakness in your arms or legs
ξ Extreme tiredness
Injection Site Care Instructions for Patients
How should I care for the injection site?
After getting a shot of Imlygic, the lesions will be covered with gauze and bandage. Things
you need to know:
ξ Keep the lesion covered with the bandage for at least 7 days, or longer if there is drainage
on the gauze.
ξ Wear gloves while putting on or taking off your bandage.
ξ Avoid contact of body fluids with close contacts, including sex partners. Wear condoms
during sexual activity. Use other birth control.
ξ If you have open mouth sores and/or sores, do not kiss anyone. Let your UW Health
Surgical Oncology Care Team know about your symptoms right away.
ξ Avoid getting vaccinations (shots), such as influenza or pneumonia, during treatment.
The bandage can be taken off 7 days after the shot; however, you may need to keep it on longer
if the lesions are leaking or oozing. You will be given gloves that can be thrown away after each
use and plastic bags. When you take the bandage off, follow the steps below:
1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
2. Put on the gloves, gently take the dirty bandage off, and place it in the bag you were
3. Take the gloves off by turning them inside out and put them in the bag.
4. Seal the plastic bag and throw it away in the garbage.
5. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
If the bandage gets loose or comes off before 7 days, follow the steps below and replace it
right away. You will be given extra supplies. You may need a relative or friend to help
change the bandage.
1. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water.
2. Lay out all the supplies, such as alcohol swabs, new bandage, and a plastic bag to put the
dirty bandage in.
3. Put on the gloves and place the dirty bandage in the disposable bag.
4. Wipe the area with the alcohol swab.
5. Change gloves, as these are now dirty from the old dressing.
6. Put the gloves and the used alcohol swab into the bag as well.
7. Put on a fresh pair of gloves and apply the new bandage. Try to avoid touching the site
while putting on the new dressing.
8. Take the gloves off by turning them inside out and put them into the bag.
9. Seal the plastic bag and throw it away in the garbage.
10. Wash your hands real well with soap and warm water.
ξ If there are signs that the skin under the bandage (not the injection site but skin that is in
contact with the bandage) is getting irritated/red, please contact your healthcare team.
You may need to use a different dressing or you may need a cream prescribed to help
ξ Put salves or ointments on the site
ξ Scratch or pick at the site
ξ Touch (with bare hands) uncovered skin that has been injected with the study drug.
What if someone is exposed to Imlygic?
If a loved one is exposed to the Imlygic HSV 1 virus (for example, leakage through the bandage
onto you or a loved one):
1. Clean the site very well with soap and water.
2. Watch for these signs/symptoms of infection, including:
ξ Malaise (feeling uneasy or uncomfortable)
If you think that a loved one has symptoms related to your treatment with Imlygic, you should
contact your study doctor and ask for advice. A prescription medicine (acyclovir or other
antiviral therapy) may be given if needed.
If you have questions, please call
Name of Clinic/Team:
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 3/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7964