About Lymphoma

Dacarbazine

Dacarbazine belongs to a group of cytotoxics known as alkylating agents. Cytotoxics are substances which results in cell damage or cell death. Alkylating agents are drugs that damage the DNA of cancer cells to keep them from making more copies of themselves.

It interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

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Indications

  • Hodgkin lymphoma-early stage
  • Hodgkin lymphoma- advanced stage

 

Dacarbazine is TGA approved but not PBS reimbursed. Public hospitals will usually absorb this cost. If patients are treated in a private hospital, some health insurance companies will cover the cost of dacarbazine. Some health insurance will not cover the cost of the drug and patients may need to pay $550 per dose.

Administration

The amount of dacarbazine depends on many factors including:

  • Height and weight
  • General health or other health problems
  • Type of lymphoma being treated

 

Patients are given dacarbazine in the chemotherapy day unit or during a stay in hospital. Dacarbazine can be given in combination with other cancer drugs.

It is given via Intravenous infusion over 60 minutes. Too rapid an infusion of dacarbazine can lead to pain at the infusion site. A heat pack on the cannulated arm during and after administration can assist with the discomfort.

Common side effects

  • Increased risk of infection
  • Low platelets (thrombocytopenia)
  • Anaemia (low red cell count)
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Hair loss
  • Mild skin rash
  • Numbness, warmth, redness, or tingly feeling in your face.

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