Carmustine BCNU

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This chemotherapy and cancer drugs article is about Carmustine (BCNU) which is used for brain tumours, multiple myeloma, Hodgkins disease, non-Hodgkins lymphomas, melanoma, lung cancer, colon cancer). A cytotoxic drug, it acts as an alkylating agent. In animal models, is most effective when administered by daily injection but may be given orally. However the US National Cancer Institute lists an emergency overview stating that the drug can cause severe damage if taken orally. In the USA it is rated as ’Highly toxic may cause cancer, inheritable genetic defects and infertility’. Animal toxicology studies have shown that the most dramatic and consistent toxicities involve the bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. Pulmonary damage can occur with prolonged usage, and even second cancers.
It has been shown in clinical trials to cross the blood brain barrier.  Alkylating agents can attack cancer cells even if they are not dividing. Carmustine’s development includes its use with Gliadel (dissolving) wafers, which can be put directly on a brain tumour during surgery.

Side effects can include: nausea and vomiting; facial flushing; pain or burning at the injection site and low blood counts with concomitant risk of infection.

Other articles that you may find interesting are:

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  3. A-Z guide to complementary therapies;

  4. Your cancer, where you can read about everything from causes to cancer treatments to complementary therapies for your cancer.

  5. How to boost your immune system.

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Learn about your cancer drugs.
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