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Clin Drug Investig. 2010;30(3):195-204. doi: 10.2165/11532900-000000000-00000.

Incorporating BCNU wafers into malignant glioma treatment: European case studies.

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Service de Neurochirurgie, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Caen, Caen, France.


Carmustine (BCNU: N,N'-bis[2-chloroethyl]-N-nitrosourea) wafers are a local chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of malignant glioma. They avoid the problems of high toxicity and short half-life associated with systemic delivery, and can bridge the traditional 'treatment gap' between surgery and subsequent conventional chemo- or radiotherapy. Clinical trials have demonstrated significant improvements in survival and quality of life for patients after complete tumour resection and BCNU wafer implantation. In practice, clinicians may use BCNU wafers in conjunction with other radio- and chemotherapies, in order to maximize the chance of a beneficial patient outcome. The purpose of these case reports is to exemplify how four experienced European clinicians employ BCNU wafers for the management of malignant glioma, and to illustrate how BCNU wafers can be effectively incorporated into treatment regimens. Four patients are described in whom BCNU wafers were implanted during the course of treatment for glioblastoma multiforme, the most severe and common type of malignant glioma. These include three patients with recurrent disease, and a single patient with a newly diagnosed tumour. All four patients received additional radio- and chemotherapy as appropriate. Treatment was well tolerated and patient survival from diagnosis ranged from 56 to 132 weeks. This compared favourably with the survival of approximately 58 weeks seen in the recent EORTC-NCIC clinical trial of combined radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide. BCNU wafers are an effective means of increasing survival and quality of life in patients diagnosed with malignant glioma, and are a valuable addition to the overall multimodal treatment strategy for these tumours.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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