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

(Group 3)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

Supplement 7: (1987) (p. 371)

CAS No.: 143-67-9
Chem. Abstr. Name: Vincaleukoblastine, sulfate (1:1) (salt)

A. Evidence for carcinogenicity to humans (inadequate)

No epidemiological study of vinblastine sulphate as a single agent was available to the Working Group. Occasional case reports of exposure to vinblastine sulphate, especially in the presence of concurrent therapy with other putative carcinogens, such as ionizing radiation, alkylating agents and other potent oncotherapeutic drugs, do not constitute evidence of carcinogenesis [ref: 1].

In a large systematic follow-up of patients with Hodgkin's disease treated with an intensive chemotherapeutic combination including vinblastine (plus adriamycin, bleomycin and dacarbazine) but no alkylating agent, preliminary evidence suggests no excess of acute nonlymphocytic leukaemia in the first decade after therapy [ref: 2,3].

B. Evidence for carcinogenicity to animals (inadequate)

No evidence of carcinogenicity was found after intraperitoneal administration of vinblastine sulphate to mice and rats or after its intravenous administration to rats, but it has not been adequately tested at high doses [ref: 1].

C. Other relevant data

No data were available on the genetic and related effects of vinblastine sulphate in humans.

Vinblastine sulphate weakly induced micronuclei in a single study using low doses, but it did not induce dominant lethal mutations in mice treated in vivo. It induced chromosomal aberrations but not mutation in Chinese hamster cells in vitro and was not mutagenic to bacteria [ref: 4].

Overall evaluation

Vinblastine sulphate is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Also see previous evaluation: Vol. 26 (1981)


1. IARC Monographs, 26, 349-363, 1981

2. Santoro, A., Viviani, S., Villarreal, C.J.R., Bonfante, V., Delfino, A., Valagussa, P. & Bonadonna, G. (1986) Salvage chemotherapy in Hodgkin's disease irradiation failures: superiority of doxorubicin containing regimens over MOPP. Cancer Treat. Rep., 70, 343-348

3. Valagussa, P., Santoro, A., Fossati Bellani, F., Franchi, F., Banfi, A. & Bonadonna, G. (1982) Absence of treatment-induced second neoplasms after ABVD in Hodgkin's disease. Blood, 59, 488-494

4. IARC Monographs, Suppl. 6, 561-562, 1987


Last updated: 11 March 1998

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Vinblastine Sulphate (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 26, 1981)