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Onc Drugs (in-progress)

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Vinca Alkaloids

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Summary

Vinca alkaloids, such as vincristine and vinblastine are chemotherapeutic drugs that function by blocking microtubule formation. This prevents formation of the mitotic spindle and inhibits cell replication. Patients taking vincristine are at risk for developing neurotoxicity, and a less specific side effect seen is bone marrow suppression.

Key Points

  • Vinca Alkaloids
    • Drugs
      • Vincristine
      • Vinblastine
    • Mechanism
      • Block microtubule formation
        • Bind to tubulin in M phase of the cell cycle and prevent them from polymerizing to form microtubules 
        • Prevents formation of the mitotic spindle 
    • Clinical use
      • Hodgkin’s lymphoma (part of MOPP regimen), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, ALL, solid tumors
    • Adverse effects
      • Vincristine 
        • Neurotoxicity / peripheral neuropathy
          • Areflexia, peripheral neuritis, paralytic ileus
      • Vinblastine
        • Bone marrow suppression (non-specific)
          • "blasts the bone marrow"