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What Is Lomustine Used For?

Using Lomustine for the Treatment of Hodgkin's Disease

Hodgkin's disease (also called Hodgkin's lymphoma) is one of a group of cancers called lymphomas. Lymphomas are cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a major part of the body's immune system, the system that fights infections and other potential threats to the body.
Lymphoma occurs when cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally. Because lymphatic tissue is present in many parts of the body, this disease can start almost anywhere. As the condition progresses, it may cause symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, unexplained fevers, and night sweats. Lymphoma can also affect your body's ability to fight infections.
Hodgkin's disease is an uncommon lymphoma. It accounts for less than 1 percent of all cases of cancer in the United States. Other cancers of the lymphatic system are called non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more common than Hodgkin's lymphoma.
There are many different treatment options for Hodgkin's lymphoma (see Hodgkin's Disease Treatment). In general, treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both. The treatment course your healthcare provider recommends will depend on several factors, including:
  • The specific type of Hodgkin's disease you have
  • How fast the cancer is spreading
  • Your overall general health.
Lomustine is a second-line therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma. This means it is used after other treatments have failed to adequately control the condition.

How Does This Medicine Work?

As previously mentioned, lomustine belongs to a group of medications called alkylating agents. In general, alkylating agents transfer a piece of their structure, called an alkyl group, to DNA. This causes the strands of DNA to bond to each other and become linked (known as "cross-linking"). The linked strands cannot uncoil and separate, which is necessary for the DNA to replicate. Because DNA replication is essential for cells to grow and multiply, alkylating medications like lomustine prevent cell growth and multiplication.
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Lomustine Drug Information

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