Quantification of vincristine and its major metabolite in human plasma by high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry

Ther Drug Monit. 2008 Jun;30(3):357-64. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e31816b92c9.


An analytical method using electrospray ionization and high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS) was developed to quantify vincristine and M1, the CYP3A-mediated metabolite of vincristine, in human plasma. Vinblastine (internal standard), vincristine, and M1 in plasma were extracted in methylene chloride after acidification with TCAA. The analytes were separated on an Inertsil ODS-3 C18 column (2.1 x 150 mm) with a 5-mum particle size using a gradient elution with a run time of 20 min. The initial mobile phase composition was 0.2% formic acid/water (80:20, v/v) with a final composition of 0.2% formic acid/water (20:80, v/v). Detection was accomplished with multiple reaction monitoring for vinblastine (m/z 406.3--> 271.7), vincristine (m/z 413.2--> 362.2), and M1 (m/z 397.3 --> 376.2). At three concentrations of vincristine and M1, the inter-day and intra-day accuracy and precision were within the acceptable limits for validation (106.8 +/- 9.6% for intra-day, n = 5 each concentration; 90.9 +/- 10.9% for inter-day, n = 4 each concentration). For both vincristine and M1, the concentration limits of quantification and detection were 12 pg/mL and 6 pg/mL, respectively. Stability studies indicated that 80% of M1 degraded in plasma after 15 hours at room temperature (n = 3, high and low QC concentrations). Therefore, short plasma processing times (<30 min) are recommended. The assay was used successfully to quantify vincristine and M1 in pediatric plasma samples up to 24 hours after vincristine administration. Vincristine and M1 concentrations were within the limits of quantification for all patient plasma samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / blood*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacokinetics
  • Calibration
  • Child
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Control
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / metabolism
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Vinblastine / blood
  • Vincristine / blood*
  • Vincristine / pharmacokinetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Vincristine
  • Vinblastine