Nervous System Channel
Topics
Medications
Quicklinks
Related Channels

What Is Carmustine Used For?

Adults with certain types of lymphoma, brain tumors, or multiple myeloma may benefit from chemotherapy treatment with carmustine. This medication belongs to a group of drugs called alkylating agents and works by disrupting the process by which cells grow and multiply. Carmustine can also be used to treat other types of cancer, such as stomach or colorectal cancer; however, these are unapproved uses for the drug.

An Overview of Uses for Carmustine

Carmustine (BiCNU®) is a prescription medication that belongs to a group of chemotherapy drugs known as alkylating agents. It is approved to treat people with certain types of tumors and cancer, including:
 
 
When used to treat lymphoma, carmustine is given in combination with other medicines.
 

Using Carmustine for the Treatment of Brain Tumors

A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells that grows in the brain. The abnormal cells that cause brain tumors can start in the brain or move to the brain from other areas of the body. Primary brain tumors are tumors that begin in the brain. Secondary brain tumors result from cancer that started somewhere else in the body, such as the lungs or breast, and spread from the original site to the brain. Secondary brain tumors are also called metastatic brain tumors.
 
Primary brain tumors are generally classified by the type of cell they start in. The most common primary brain tumors are gliomas, which begin in glial cells. Glial cells help support and protect the brain's nerve cells.
 
Carmustine is approved to treat secondary brain tumors. It is also approved to treat several types of primary brain tumors, including:
 
  • Astrocytoma, a tumor that begins in star-shaped glial cells called astrocytes
  • Glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of astrocytoma
  • Medulloblastoma, a tumor that occurs in the cerebellum (the lower back part of the brain)
  • Ependymoma, a tumor that usually begins in cells that line the spaces in the brain and around the spinal cord
  • Brainstem glioma, a glioma that occurs in the brainstem (the lowest part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord).
 
(Click on the following articles to learn more about these types of brain tumors:
 
 
Know the Signs - Concussion Safety

Carmustine Drug Information

Referring Pages:
Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2017 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.