Paclitaxel is a mitotic inhibitor used in cancer chemotherapy. It was discovered in a U.S. National Cancer Institute program at the Research Triangle Institute in 1967 when Monroe E. Wall and Mansukh C. Wani isolated it from the bark of the Pacific yew tree, Taxus brevifolia and named it taxol. Later it was discovered that endophytic fungi in the bark synthesize paclitaxel.

When it was developed commercially by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) the generic name was changed to paclitaxel and the BMS compound is sold under the trademark Taxol. In this formulation, paclitaxel is dissolved in Cremophor EL and ethanol, as a delivery agent. A newer formulation, in which paclitaxel is bound to albumin, is sold under the trademark Abraxane.

Paclitaxel is now used to treat patients with lung, ovarian, breast, head and neck cancer, and advanced forms of Kaposi's sarcoma. Paclitaxel is also used for the prevention of restenosis.

Paclitaxel stabilizes microtubules and as a result, interferes with the normal breakdown of microtubules during cell division. Together with docetaxel, it forms the drug category of the taxanes. It was the subject of a notable total synthesis by Robert A. Holton.

While offering substantial improvement in patient care, paclitaxel has been a relatively controversial drug. There was originally concern because of the environmental impact of its original sourcing, no longer used, from the Pacific yew. In addition, the assignment of rights, and even the name itself, to Bristol-Myers Squibb were the subject of public debate and Congressional hearings.

Read more about Paclitaxel:  Production, Mechanism of Action, Clinical Use, Research Use, Biosynthesis and Biocatalysis, Nomenclature, Additional Images

Other articles related to "paclitaxel":

... derivative involved in mitotic inhibition known as Paclitaxel ... a prospective cancer therapy drug that can not only be conjugated to Paclitaxel but also peptides, monoclonal antibodies, siRNA and many other biological aspects ... Paclitaxel is generally prevented from reaching its target in the cell due to the presence of the efflux pump P-glycoprotein (P-gp) at the blood barrier ...
Paclitaxel - Additional Images
... Space-filling model of paclitaxel Rotated paclitaxel molecule model Crystal structure of paclitaxel ...
Paclitaxel Total Synthesis - Semisynthesis
... The commercial semisynthesis (by Bristol-Myers Squibb) of paclitaxel starting from 10-deacetylbaccatin III (isolated from the European yew) is based on tail addition of the so-called Ojima lactam to its ... These derivatives have the same skeleton as paclitaxel except for the organic residue R of the terminal tail amide group which can be phenyl, or propyl ... This material is shipped to Mexico for a first extraction step (10% paclitaxel content) and then to Canada for further purification to 95% purity ...
Protein-bound Paclitaxel
... Protein-bound paclitaxel is an injectable formulation of paclitaxel, a mitotic inhibitor drug used in the treatment of breast cancer ... In this formulation, paclitaxel is bonded to albumin as a delivery vehicle ... In October 2012 the FDA widened the approved use of paclitaxel to include treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of lung ...
... DHA-paclitaxel (or Taxoprexin) is an investigational drug (from Protarga Inc) made by linking paclitaxel to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid that ... With increased activity, DHA-paclitaxel, also known as Taxoprexin, may have a more successful response in cancer patients than Taxol, and it may be able to treat more types of cancer than Taxol has been able to treat ...