Fludarabine — also known under its brand name, Fludura — is used in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), including CLL that has not responded to standard therapy, or recurred after therapy. It also is used as a salvage therapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and acute leukemias.

Fludarabine was first synthesized by Dr. John Montgomery and Kathleen Hewson of Southern Research in the late 1960s. U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval was granted in April 1991.

It belongs to the class of chemotherapy drugs called antimetabolites, which prevent cell division and cause cancer cells to die.

Fludarabine is on the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.

Photo shows Dr. John Montgomery