Definition

A cyclodecane isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew tree, TAXUS BREVIFOLIA. It stabilizes MICROTUBULES in their polymerized form leading to cell death.

Description

A cyclodecane isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew tree, TAXUS brevifolia. It stabilizes microtubules in their polymerized form leading to cell death. ABI-007 (Abraxane) is the latest attempt to improve upon paclitaxel, one of the leading chemotherapy treatments. Both drugs contain the same active agent, but Abraxane is delivered by a nanoparticle technology that binds to albumin, a natural protein, rather than the toxic solvent known as Cremophor. It is thought that delivering paclitaxel with this technology will cause fewer hypersensitivity reactions and possibly lead to greater drug uptake in tumors. Paclitaxel is a mitotic inhibitor used in cancer chemotherapy. It was discovered in a US 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.

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