Vinca alkaloid

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Chemical structure of the vinca alkaloid vincristine

Vinca alkaloids are a set of anti-mitotic and anti-microtubule agents that were originally derived from the Periwinkle plant Catharanthus roseus.

Vinca alkaloids are used in the treatment of cancer. They are a class of cell-cycle-specific cytotoxic drugs that work by inhibiting the ability of cancer cells to divide: Acting upon tubulin, they prevent it from forming into microtubules, a necessary component for cellular division.[1]

Vinca alkaloids are now produced synthetically and used as drugs in cancer therapy and as immunosuppressive drugs. These compounds include vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine, and vinorelbine.

Additional researched vinca alkaloids include, desoxyvincaminol, vincaminol, vinburnine, vincamajine, vineridine, and vinburnine.


  1. ^ Takimoto, C. H.; Calvo, E. (2008). "Chapter 3: Principles of Oncologic Pharmacotherapy". In Pazdur, R.; Wagman, L. D.; Camphausen, K. A.; Hoskins, W. J. Cancer Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach (11th ed.). ISBN 978-1-891483-62-2.