Vincristine (Vinca-Alkaloid) as a sclerosing agent for malignant pleural effusions

M. S. Vidyasagar, A. S. Ramanujam, D. J. Fernandes, K. Koteshwar Rao, G. K.R. Jadhav, C. S. Hospet, T. Seetharamaiah, S. Vidyasagar, K. Subramanyam

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Vincristine, extracted from Vinca rosea Linn., is an effective antineoplastic chemotherapeutic drug used in oncology practice. This drug has never been used as a sclerosing agent for the treatment of malignant pleural effusion for reasons unknown. A study was conducted to examine the use of Vinca-Alkaloid as a sclerosing agent (pleurodesis) for the palliative treatment of malignant pleural effusions. The study included 15 patients, all diagnosed to have cytology-proven malignant pleural effusions. Intercostal tube drainage followed by chemical sclerotherapy with 2 mg vincristine was performed on all patients and a high success rate was noted. Twelve procedures out of 15 (12/15) achieved complete resolution of pleural fluid with a success rate of 80%. In two procedures the pleural effusion was reduced and then recurred but did not require re-aspiration. One procedure failed and repeated pleural aspiration was required. In this study, with adequate pleural drainage and the proper technique, vincristine was found to be an effective sclerosing agent for malignant pleural effusion. Further randomized trials are necessary in order to establish the role of this drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1020
Number of pages4
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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