Vinca Alkaloids

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Anticancer Drugs

These are mitotic inhibitors, bind to microtubular protein—‘tubulin’, prevent its polymerization and assembly of microtubules, cause disruption of mitotic spindle and interfere with cytoskeletal function. The chromosomes fail to move apart during mitosis: metaphase arrest occurs.


VINCA ALKALOIDS

 

These are mitotic inhibitors, bind to microtubular protein—‘tubulin’, prevent its polymerization and assembly of microtubules, cause disruption of mitotic spindle and interfere with cytoskeletal function. The chromosomes fail to move apart during mitosis: metaphase arrest occurs. They are cell cycle specific and act in the mitotic phase. Vincristine and vinblastine, though closely related chemically, have somewhat different spectrum of anti-tumour activity and toxicity.

 

Vincristine (oncovin)

 

It is a rapidly acting drug, very useful for inducing remission in childhood acute leukaemia, but is not good for maintenance therapy. Other indications are lymphosarcoma, Hodgkin’s disease, Wilms’ tumour, Ewing’s sarcoma and carcinoma lung. Prominent adverse effects are peripheral neuropathy and alopecia. Bone marrow depression is minimal.

 

Dose: 1.52 mg/m2  BSA i.v. weekly.

 

VINCRISTIN, CYTOCRISTIN 1 mg/vial inj.

 

Vinblastine

 

It is primarily employed with other drugs in Hodgkin’s disease and testicular carcinoma. Bone marrow depression is more prominent while neurotoxicity and alopecia are less marked than with vincristine.

 

Dose: 0.1–0.15 mg/kg i.v. weekly × 3 doses.

 

VINBLASTIN, CYTOBLASTIN 10 mg/vial inj.

 

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