||Noble, Robert L.|
||The discovery of the vinca alkaloids-chemotherapeutic agents against cancer|
||Biochem Cell Biol;68(12):1344-51, Dec. 1990.
||In folklore medicine, extracts of the leaves of the subtropical plant Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don (sometimes known as Madagascar periwinkle) were reputed to be useful in the treatment of diabetes. This review describes how attempts to verify the antidiabetic properties of the extracts led instead to the discovery and isolation of two complex indole alkaloids, vinblastine and vincristine, which are used in the clinical treatment of a variety of cancers. The two alkaloids, although structurally almost identical, nevertheless differ markedly in the type of tumors that they affect and in their toxic properties. These and related alkaloids have been the subject of many pharmacological and biochemical investigations both in vivo and in vitro in the search for improved cancer treatments. A model system used in these studies, a transplantable lymphoma in Noble strain rats designated Nb2 node, has serendipitously led to the development of a highly sensitive and specific bioassay for lactogenic hormones. (AU)|
||JM3.1 - Médical Library|