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Carmustine (Injection)

Treats cancer, including brain tumors, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin disease, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Carmustine injection is used alone or together with other medicines to treat certain type of brain tumors (e.g., glioblastoma, brainstem glioma, medulloblastoma, astrocytoma, ependymoma, and metastatic brain tumors), cancer of the lymph system (e.g., Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), and a certain type of cancer in the bone marrow (e.g., multiple myeloma). It may also be used to treat… Read more
Brand names include
Bicnu
Other forms
Implantation
Drug classes About this
Antineoplastic Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of carmustine implants and temozolomide for the treatment of newly diagnosed high-grade glioma: a systematic review and economic evaluation

This review found that adjuvant carmustine wafers conferred no survival advantage in patients with Grade III or IV tumours. With temozolomide there was limited evidence of a small but significant advantage in patients with Grade IV and III tumours in overall survival and progression free survival. The authors' conclusions seem appropriate given the strength of the evidence presented.

The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of carmustine implants and temozolomide for the treatment of newly diagnosed high-grade glioma: a systematic review and economic evaluation

High-grade (grade III and IV) gliomas are rare but very aggressive brain tumours. There are about 1700 new cases of high-grade glioma diagnosed annually in England (3.6/100,000). Incidence is highest among those in their early 70s and gliomas are slightly more common in men than women. High-grade gliomas are incurable and treatment aims to increase survival while maintaining quality of life. Median survival is around 1 year for those with grade IV tumours and 2–3 years for those with grade III tumours.

The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) evidence-based review of the role of radiosurgery for malignant glioma

This review concluded that adding radiosurgery boost to external beam radiotherapy and carmustine increases toxicity and does not improve survival or quality of life in malignant glioma. The authors' further conclusion, that there is insufficient evidence about stereotactic fractionated radiation or radiosurgery at progression or recurrence, appears appropriate.

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Summaries for consumers

Treatment of high grade glioma with anti‐cancer drug (chemotherapy) coated implants

High grade glioma is a rapidly progressive form of brain tumour. Standard therapy involves the use of surgery (either biopsy or resection) and radiotherapy plus or minus temozolomide. Chemotherapy was not previously used due to concerns over efficacy and high risks of side effects.

Sexuality and Reproductive Issues (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about factors that may affect sexual functioning in people with cancer. Fertility issues related to cancer treatment are also discussed.

Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the health problems that continue or appear after cancer treatment has ended.

PubMed Health Blog...

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