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Onc Drugs (in-progress)

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Busulfan

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Summary

Busulfan is an alkylating agent that crosslinks DNA, affecting the ability of cells to multiply. This drug used to be the gold standard treatment for CML before imatinib was discovered. Nowadays, busulfan is clinically used for bone marrow ablation before bone marrow transplant. Related to this clinical use is the adverse effect of severe bone marrow suppression, also called myelosuppression. Patients taking busulfan may also experience pulmonary fibrosis.

Key Points

  • Busulfan
    • Mechanism
      • Alkylating agent that crosslinks DNA
    • Clinical Use
      • Bone marrow ablation before bone marrow transplantation 
      • CML
        • Was the gold standard treatment for CML before imatinib was discovered
    • Adverse Effects
      • Severe myelosuppression (nonspecific)
      • Pulmonary fibrosis
      • Hyperpigmentation