- After surgery—to kill any remaining cancer cells and decrease risk of return
- In combination with radiation therapy if surgery is not an option
- For secondary tumors that spread to the brain if the primary tumor responds to chemotherapy drugs
- Oral—Taken by mouth.
- Intrathecal—Delivered directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This method allows drugs to reach the tumor inside the BBB.
- Direct contact—A wafer is placed on or next to the tumor during surgery. The wafer dissolves over time. Since the wafer is in direct contact with the tumor, side effects to the rest of the body are minimized.
- Carmustine (BCNU) or lomustine (CCNU)
Side Effects and Management
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mouth sores
- Hair loss
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as loss of appetite or diarrhea
- Low blood cell counts, which can lead to anemia and neutropenia
Adult brain tumors treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/types/brain/patient/adult-brain-treatment-pdq#section/%5F102. Updated February 13, 2015. Accessed August 18, 2015.
Astrocytoma and oligodentroglioma in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 17, 2015. Accessed August 18, 2015.
Brain and spinal cord tumors in adults. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003088-pdf.pdf. Accessed August 18, 2015.
Brain and spinal cord tumors in children. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003089-pdf.pdf. Accessed August 18, 2015.
Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 30, 2015. Accessed August 18, 2015.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 05/2015 -
- Update Date: 08/18/2015 -