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What Is Dacarbazine Used For?

How Does This Medication Work?

It is not entirely known how dacarbazine works to treat cancer. It is classified as an alkylating agent. Alkylating agents are medications that transfer a piece of their structure, called an alkyl group, to DNA. This causes the strands of DNA to bond to each other and become linked (known as "cross-linking"). The linked strands are unable to uncoil and separate, which is necessary for the DNA to replicate.
Dacarbazine may also work by incorporating itself into DNA and interfering with the ability of the DNA to replicate. Because DNA replication is essential for cells to grow and multiply, dacarbazine may prevent cancer cells from growing and multiplying.

Can Children Use Dacarbazine?

This medication is not approved for use in children (usually defined as individuals under the age of 18 years old), as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. This does not mean it absolutely cannot be used in children. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using dacarbazine in children.

What About Off-Label Dacarbazine Uses?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend dacarbazine for treating something other than the conditions discussed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. Dacarbazine may be prescribed off-label to treat other types of cancer, including but not limited to:
  • Pheochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal gland)
  • Soft tissue sarcoma (cancer of the soft tissues, such as the muscles, tendons, and nerves)
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Thyroid cancers
  • Pancreatic cancer (islet cell carcinoma)
  • Certain cancers in children.
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Dacarbazine Chemotherapy Information

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