Taxol (Paclitaxel) and Cancer Chemotherapy

Taxol is an antineoplastic agent. This compound, first isolated from the bark of the Western yew tree in 1971, exhibits unique pharmacological actions as an inhibitor of mitosis, differing from the vinca alkaloids and colchicine derivatives in that it promotes rather than inhibits microtubule formation. Following its introduction into clinical trial, the drug was approved for treatment of cisplatin-refractory ovarian cancer in 1992 and has promising activity against cancers of the breast, lung, esophagus, and head and neck. Malignant neoplastic diseases may be treated by various approaches: surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy, or a combination of these. The extent of a malignant disease (staging) should be ascertained in order to plan an effective therapeutic intervention. Plants have antineoplastic activities. A significant portion of the product derived from plants serve either as protective agents against various pathogens (e.g., insects, fungi, or bacteria) or growth regulatory molecules (e.g., hormonelike substances that stimulate or inhibit cell division and morphogenesis). Chemical Groups Of Natural Products With Anticancer Properties Cancer Chemotherapy Before discussing the specific Read more […]


ANTICANCER AGENTS are commonly referred to as antineoplastic agents, however, by strict definition, antineoplastic agents are used to treat a neoplasm’ (meaning a ‘new growth’). Neoplasms that have only the characteristic of localized growth are classified as benign. Neoplasms with the additional characteristic of invasiveness, and/or the capacity to metastasise, are classified as malignant. The term cancer’ is usually applied only to the latter group. Similarly, the word tumour (meaning literally ‘a local swelling’) tends to be used in association with cancer, and antineoplastic agent’ is commonly interchangeable with ‘anticancer’. There are a number of approaches to the chemotherapy of cancer, and most can be regarded as complementary or additional to radiotherapy and surgery. Direct approaches to cancer mostly use cytotoxic agents: these work by interfering with cell replication or production, so preventing the growth of new cancerous tissue. Inevitably, this means that normal cell production is also affected, causing serious side-effects. There are many cytotoxic agents with diverse modes of action, but these can be divided into groups on the basis of their mechanisms of action. Alkylating agents and related Read more […]