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Lomustine ball-and-stick model.png
Clinical data
Trade names Gleostine
Synonyms 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea
AHFS/Drugs.com Monograph
MedlinePlus a682207
  • D
Routes of
Oral (capsules)
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • In general: ℞ (Prescription only)
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability ~100%
Protein binding 50%
Metabolism Liver
Metabolites Monoxydroxylated metabolites, trans-4-hydroxy-CCNU, cis-4-hydroxy-CCNU[1]
Biological half-life 16–48 hours (metabolites)
CAS Number
PubChem CID
ECHA InfoCard 100.032.585
Chemical and physical data
Formula C9H16ClN3O2
Molar mass 233.695 g/mol
3D model (JSmol)
Melting point 90 °C (194 °F)
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Lomustine (INN), abbreviated CCNU (original brand name (formerly available) is CeeNU, now marketed as Gleostine), is an alkylating nitrosourea compound used in chemotherapy. It is closely related to semustine and is in the same family as streptozotocin. It is a highly lipid-soluble drug,[2] thus it crosses the blood-brain barrier. This property makes it ideal for treating brain tumors, which is its primary use. Lomustine has a long time to nadir (the time when white blood cells reach their lowest number).

Unlike carmustine, lomustine is administered orally. It is a monofunctional alkylating agent, alkylates both DNA and RNA, has the ability to cross-link DNA.[3] As with other nitrosoureas, it may also inhibit several key enzymatic processes by carbamoylation of amino acids in proteins.[4] Lomustine is cell-cycle nonspecific.

Price increase[edit]

In the U.S., the patent for lomustine has expired, but only one company manufactures it. In 2013, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. sold its CeeNU brand of lomustine to CordenPharma, a subsidiary of International Chemical Investors S.E., which markets it as Gleostine through NextSource Biotechnology. In 2013, BMS charged $50 a capsule. In 2018, NextSource charged $768 a capsule. Some doctors said the price increase made it unaffordable, and one doctor called it "price gouging."[5][6][7]


  1. ^ Lee, FY; Workman, P; Roberts, JT; Bleehen, NM (1985). "Clinical Pharmacokinetics of Oral CCNU (lomustine)". Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. 14 (2): 125–31. doi:10.1007/bf00434350. PMID 3971475. 
  2. ^ "BC Cancer Agency Cancer Drug Manual. Lomustine (CCNU; CeeNU)" (PDF). Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Pizzo, PA; Poplack, DG, eds. (2006). Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology (5th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 300. ISBN 9780781754927. 
  4. ^ "Gleostine (lomustine) Capsules, for Oral Use. Full Prescribing Information" (PDF). NextSource Biotechnology, LLC. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Cancer Drug Price Rises 1400% With No Generic to Challenge It, Peter Loftus, The Wall Street Journal, 12/26/2017 [FREE]
  6. ^ "NextSource Biotechnology Gains FDA Approval for Use of Tradename Gleostine (lomustine), an Anti-Cancer Chemotherapy Agent". www.prnewswire.com. NextSource Biotechnology. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  7. ^ "Gleostine (lomustine) Capsules — Healthcare Providers". NextSource Biotechnology. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 

External links[edit]