Marqibo® (vincristine sulfate liposome)

Brand Names

Marqibo® (There may be other names for this medication.) Marqibo is not interchangeable with conventional vincristine.

How is Marqibo Administered?

This medication must be given by infusion into a vein (intravenous or IV).

Why is Marqibo Used?

Marqibo® treats acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that has recurred, or that has progressed despite other therapies. It also treats non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and many solid tumors.

How Does it Work?

Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells multiply without control. Both normal and cancer cells go through cycles of resting, growing and multiplication (reproduction) phases. Your chemotherapy (chemo) schedule is based on your type of cancer, how fast the cancer cells grow and multiply, and the phase when each drug is the most effective. Chemo is typically given in cycles.

Marqibo® is a lipid-encapsulated form of vincristine. The fat coating allows the drug to be given at doses that could be dangerous without the coating, and allows continuous drug release.

Vincristine is a type of plant alkaloid called a vinca alkaloid. It attacks structures inside the cells that are needed for reproduction. If the cells are unable to multiply, they die. The faster cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemo will damage/kill the cells. Chemo, unfortunately, does not know the difference between cancer cells and normal cells that reproduce quickly. These normal cells will eventually grow back and be healthy. During treatment, however, you may experience side effects from the chemo’s effects on these cells. (See sections on side effects and how to manage them.)

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