Sunday, May 23, 2010


Navelbine (brand name) injection and capsules both contain the active ingredient vinorelbine, which is a chemotherapy medicine used to treat cancer.

Cancers form when some cells within the body multiply uncontrollably and abnormally. These cells spread, destroying nearby tissues. Vinorelbine works by stopping the cancer cells from multiplying.
Like normal healthy cells, cancer cells go through a continuous process of change. Each cell divides into two daughter cells. These cells grow, rest and then divide again. The medicines used in chemotherapy are powerful chemicals designed to interupt this cycle and stop cells from growing and multiplying.
Vinorelbine belongs to a group of chemotherapy medicines called vinca alkaloids. These work by preventing the cancer cells from entering the dividing stage (mitosis) of their life cycle. This stops the cells from multiplying.
Unfortunately, vinorelbine can also affect normal, healthy cells, particularly those that multiply quickly, such as blood cells and hair cells. The most important side effect is on the bone marrow where blood cells are made. Vinorelbine can decrease the production of blood cells, leaving people susceptible to infection. Regular blood tests are therefore needed to monitor the levels of blood cells.
In most chemotherapy regimens, doses are administered in courses at various intervals to allow normal cells to recover from the adverse effects of the chemotherapy between doses. However, during this period, cancer cells will also recover and start to replicate again. Successful treatment depends on the administration of the next course of therapy before the cancer has regrown to its previous size. The aim is to decrease the amount of cancer with each successive course.
Vinorelbine is used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer and advanced breast cancer. The medicine may be given by a drip into a vein, or by mouth as capsules.

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