(for veterinary information only)
ALSO KNOWN AS CCNU
BRAND NAMES: CEENU, GLEOSTINE, LOMUSTINUM
The basic idea behind using drugs against cancer is that drugs can reach areas of the body inaccessible to surgery. One dose of chemotherapy is transported by the bloodstream to any place where the tumor may be lurking. The medications involve are designed to target cancer cells and leave normal body cells unaffected. Cancer cells are involved in activities (such as rapid cell division) that normal cells are not and these activities make them vulnerable to certain drugs. Lomustine is a member of the nitrosurea class of chemotherapy agents which acts by binding DNA to other DNA strands or to protein in such a way that the DNA double helix strand cannot replicate. In addition to essentially tangling DNA up, lomustine generates a by-product that prevents normal DNA function. Remember that DNA is the instruction manual for the cell. Continuing the analogy, lomustine makes the instruction manual pages unreadable and unturnable. Rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, are most sensitive to its effects.
HOW THIS MEDICATION IS USED
Lomustine has the special ability to penetrate the blood/brain barrier which means it can be used to treat cancers of the nervous system.
Lomustine can be given either orally or intravenously, as the chemotherapy protocol dictates, generally once a month; However, more frequent mini-doses ("metronomic" therapy) is also sometimes used.
Lomustine should be given with food and one should wear gloves to administer it. Lomustine should be stored at room temperature, protected from light. If a dose is accidentally skipped, check with your veterinarian or oncologist for instructions as this medication is given on a fairly strict schedule in most cases.
BONE MARROW SUPPRESSION 1-3 WEEKS AFTER ADMINISTRATION
LUNG SCARRING, STOMATITIS, CORNEAL WEAKENING
INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS
Any time two drugs with potential to suppress the bone marrow are used together, the risk of marrow suppression becomes greater. Such drugs would include other agents of chemotherapy, chloramphenicol, possibly methimazole, etc.
Any time two drugs that have potential to suppress immune function are used together, the risk of infection becomes greater. Such drugs would include other agents of chemotherapy and corticosteroids.
CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS
As with all chemotherapy agents, lomustine should not be used in pregnancy, lactation, or in animals to be used for breeding.
Live vaccinations should not be given while the patient is on lomustine.
On the day your pet receives lomustine and for several days following, gloves should be worn while removing all body wastes from the pet from the environment. The waste and the gloves may be disposed of in the regular trash but should be enclosed in a plastic bag first.
PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD NOT HANDLE THIS MEDICATION NOR SHOULD THEY HANDLE WASTE FROM A PATIENT ON THIS MEDICATION.
Page last updated: 11/22/2021