Lung Cancer Home > Mechlorethamine Used to Treat Pleural Effusion

Adults who have been diagnosed with certain types of cancer may receive mechlorethamine (Mustargen®) as part of their chemotherapy treatment. This prescription drug is specifically approved to treat lung cancer and certain cancers of the blood and bone marrow.
Mechlorethamine is also used to treat metastatic cancer associated with pleural effusion. Metastatic cancer is cancer that has spread from its original site to other areas of the body. Pleural effusion occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the space between membranes that line body organs, such as the lungs or abdomen (stomach).
Mechlorethamine works by interfering with DNA replication, which is a process necessary for cells to copy themselves and divide. Because of this interference, the cancer cells die.
(Click What Is Mechlorethamine Used For? to learn more about how mechlorethamine is used to treat pleural effusion and various forms of cancer. This article also talks about whether the medicine is safe for use in older adults and children.)
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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