International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Summaries & Evaluations


VOL.: 26 (1981) (p. 365)

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Experimental data

Vincristine sulphate was tested in mice and rats by intraperitoneal injection. In these limited studies no evidence of carcinogenicity was found.

Vincristine sulphate can induce teratogenic effects in several animal species, and it induced embryolethality at doses nontoxic to the mother. There is no evidence to suggest that this compound is mutagenic.

5.2 Human data

Vincristine sulphate has been used since the early 1960s for treatment of acute leukaemia in children, often in combination with other antineoplastic agents. It is also frequently a part of combination chemotherapeutic regimens for Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and other adult neoplasms.

The available data are insufficient to evaluate the teratogenicity of this drug in humans. No data were available on its mutagenic or chromosomal effects.

Both case reports and epidemiological studies indicate that acute nonlymphocytic leukaemia is produced in patients with Hodgkin's disease treated with combined therapeutic regimens which include vincristine sulphate, alkylating agents and procarbazine hydrochloride, often in conjunction with radiotherapy. No data were available on vincristine sulphate alone.

5.3 Evaluation

The available data in experimental animals were insufficient for evaluation. There is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity in humans of intensive chemotherapeutic regimens that include alkylating agents, vincristine sulphate, procarbazine hydrochloride and prednisone. There is inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of vincristine sulphate itself.

On the basis of the available data, no conclusion could be drawn as to the carcinogenicity of vincristine sulphate.

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Subsequent evaluation: Suppl. 7 (1987)

Last updated: 8 April 1998

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Vincristine Sulphate  (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Supplement7, 1987)