PCV - Procarbazine, CCNU, Vincristine
One of the most commonly used combinations in the past was PCV. This is a combination of three drugs called: Procarbazine, CCNU and Vincristine. PCV is usually given every six weeks. Whilst Temozolomide is now the "gold standard" treatment for high grade brain tumours we have decided to still include information on PCV incase you are prescribed it.
Your doctor may use a slightly different combination and it may be helpful for your doctor or nurse to write down you specific treatment below:
NAME OF DRUGS
FREQUENCY OF TREATMENT
CONTACT FOR INFORMATION
Chemotherapy may have side-effects. If you are suffering with any of the symptoms below you should contact your own doctor.
The side effects of PCV chemotherapy are outlined here. However even if you are having a different combination (or even just one drug) it will give you an idea of what you may advise you what to do.
Procarbazine is taken orally and it can occasionally have side effects: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, flu-like symptoms, a rash or possibly some dizziness. These side effects do not last long because tolerance usually develops over a few days.
In addition you should be aware that you should avoid certain foods and drinks, for the time that you are taking the Procarbazine tablets (5-7 days). These include alcohol, cheese, yoghurt, sour cream, chicken livers, banana, avocado and meat prepared with tenderisers. Eating or drinking any of these may cause an allergic reaction.
Vincristine is given as an injection into a vein, usually into the back f your hand. The side effects associated with this drug can include; hair loss, constipation and over long term use it can cause tingling of fingers and toes or some muscle weakness.
CCNU is given in tablet form. This may cause nausea and vomiting. Usually an anti-sickness tablet is given to help with these side effects.
Many chemotherapy drugs can cause bone marrow suppression. The effects of bone marrow suppression may result in tiredness and lethargy, an increased risk of infection and a susceptibility to bruising and bleeding. Your blood count will be checked regularly but if you are feeling unwell please see your own doctor. It may make you more susceptible to infection.
This information is reproduced with the kind permission of Brain Tumour UK
Procabazine Carmustine Vincristine (PCV) â€“ this document was written by Danita Acquafredda and George Hunter and gives detailed information on each individual drug and then information on the combination. (Source: USA)
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