What is the primary use or technical application of Vinblastine?

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bandmanjoe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Vinblastine is an antimicrotubule drug used to treat certain kinds of cancer, including Hodgkins Lymphoma, non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, head and neck cancer, and testicular cancer.  It can also be used in the treatment of Langerhans Hisitiocytosis, an affliction of the pancreas.  Vinblastine was traditionally obtained from the Madagascar Periwinkle, as it was generated in the vinca plant by the joining of two alkaloids, catharanthine and vindaline.

Vistaline binds tubulin, thereby inhibiting the production of microtubules.  It is metaphase cell cycle specific.  Microtubules are a cellular component that are formed during this stage of cellular mitosis and are necessary for the separation of copied chromosomes in the next mitotic cell cycle stage, anaphase.  Toxicities include bone marrow suppression, gastrointestinal toxicity, blister-forming activity, and the formation of deep ulcers.

Vinblastine is reported to be an effective component of certain chemotherapy regimens when used with bleomycin and methotrexate in VBM chemotherapy for stage IA or IIA Hodgkins Lymphoma.