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What Is Liposomal Vincristine Used For?

The chemotherapy drug liposomal vincristine is used for treating a certain type of cancer called Philadelphia chromosome negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It is prescribed for adults only, as it has not been adequately studied in children. This drug is approved for use after at least two other chemotherapy treatments have been tried, but the cancer has come back or has gotten worse.

An Overview of Uses for Liposomal Vincristine

Liposomal vincristine sulfate (Marqibo®) is a prescription intravenous (IV) medication approved to treat adults with Philadelphia chromosome negative (Ph-) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is specifically approved for use in people whose leukemia has come back (relapsed) after two or more prior anti-leukemia therapies, or for people whose leukemia has progressed (gotten worse) after treatment with at least two prior anti-leukemia therapies. 
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. It occurs when the bone marrow produces large amounts of abnormal white blood cells, called leukemia cells. Over time, the leukemia cells may crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, making it hard for blood to do its work.
There are several different types of leukemia. The main types are grouped by how quickly the disease develops and gets worse (chronic versus acute), and the type of blood cells affected (lymphoid versus myeloid).
Acute lymphatic leukemia (also called acute lymphocytic leukemia or acute lymphoid leukemia) is a fast-growing form of leukemia that affects lymphocytes. The symptoms of ALL usually begin abruptly, and the condition progresses quickly without treatment (see Symptoms of ALL for more information about possible symptoms of this disease). ALL is the most common type of leukemia in young children; however, it can also affect adults.
Some people with leukemia have an abnormal chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome (chromosomes are the structures in cells that contain DNA). The Philadelphia chromosome forms when pieces of two different chromosomes break off and switch places with each other. This abnormal chromosome causes the uncontrolled production of leukemia cells.
The Philadelphia chromosome is more commonly associated with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Although relatively rare, it is also sometimes found in people with ALL. Liposomal vincristine is specifically approved to treat Philadelphia chromosome negative ALL, which means it is approved for use in people who do not have the Philadelphia chromosome.
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Liposomal Vincristine Drug Information

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