|Jmol-3D images||Image 1
|Molar mass||214.05 g mol−1|
30 °C, 303 K, 86 °F
|GHS signal word||DANGER|
|GHS hazard statements||H300, H350, H360|
|GHS precautionary statements||P301+310, P308+313|
|R-phrases||R45, R46, R60, R61, R28|
|S-phrases||S22, S36/37/39, S45|
|LD50||20 mg kg−1 (oral, rat)|
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Carmustine or BCNU (bis-chloroethylnitrosourea) is a mustard gas-related β-chloro-nitrosourea compound used as an alkylating agent in chemotherapy. As a dialkylating agent, BCNU is able to form interstrand crosslinks in DNA, which prevents DNA replication and DNA transcription.
It has the appearance of an orange-yellow solid.
Carmustine for injection is marketed under the name BiCNU by Bristol-Myers Squibb. In India, carmustine is marketed under the name Carustine by Curacell Biotech.
It is used in the treatment of several types of brain cancer (including glioma, glioblastoma multiforme, medulloblastoma and astrocytoma), multiple myeloma and lymphoma (Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin). BCNU is sometimes used in conjunction with alkyl guanine transferase (AGT) inhibitors, such as O6-benzylguanine. The AGT-inhibitors increase the efficacy of BCNU by inhibiting the Direct Reversal pathway of DNA repair, which will prevent formation of the interstrand crosslink between the N1 of guanine and the N3 of cytosine.
It is also used as part of chemotherapeutic protocol to prepare for hematological stem cell transplantation, to reduce the white blood cells in the recipient (patient). This use under this protocol, usually with Fludarabine and Melphalan, was coined by oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Side effects 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2012)|
Bone marrow may take 6 weeks to recover function following treatment with carmustine. Weekly monitoring of platelet and white blood cell counts are recommended as a basis for patient-specific adjustments to dosage regimens. Bone marrow and pulmonary toxicities are a function of lifetime cumulative dose. Pulmonary toxicity characterized by pulmonary infiltrates and/or fibrosis (scarring of the lungs). Cases of fatal pulmonary toxicity have been reported. Delayed onset pulmonary fibrosis and myelosuppression may occur. Thrombocytopenia usually occurs about 4 weeks post administration. Leukopenia occurs approximately 5–6 weeks after administration. Cumulative myelosuppression, manifested by more depressed indices may occur. Anemia also occurs, but is less frequent and less severe than thrombocytopenia or leukopenia. The occurrence of acute leukemia and bone marrow dysplasias have been reported in patients following long-term nitrosourea therapy.
Nausea and vomiting after IV administration are noted frequently. This usually occurs within 2 hours of administration. This is usually dose related. Prior administration of antiemetics is effective in diminishing and sometimes preventing these effects.
A reversible type of hepatic toxicity, manifested by increased transaminase, alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin levels, has been reported in a small percentage of patients. Renal abnormalities consisting of progressive azotemia, decrease in kidney size and renal failure have been reported in patients who received large cumulative doses after prolonged therapy. Kidney damage has also been reported occasionally in patients receiving lower total doses.
In the treatment of brain tumours, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved biodegradable discs, Gliadel, infused with carmustine can be used. They are implanted under the skull during a surgery called a craniotomy.
- "Carmustine - Compound Summary". PubChem Compound. USA: National Center for Biotechnology Information. 25 March 2005. Identification. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- Ewend MG, Brem S, Gilbert M, et al. (June 2007). "Treatment of single brain metastasis with resection, intracavity carmustine polymer wafers, and radiation therapy is safe and provides excellent local control". Clin. Cancer Res. 13 (12): 3637–41. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-2095. PMID 17575228.